Hillary Clinton’s possibly unsecure, possibly secure, private server included emails featuring satellite images and other highly secretive information from the intelligence community. John R. Schindler at The Daily Beast has a rundown of what Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III found:
Most seriously, the Inspector General assessed that Clinton’s emails included information that was highly classified—yet mislabeled as unclassified. Worse, the information in question should have been classified up to the level of “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN,” according to the Inspector General’s report…In short: Information at the “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN” level is considered exceptionally highly classified and must be handled with great care under penalty of serious consequences for mishandling. Every person who is cleared and “read on” for access to such information signs reams of paperwork and receives detailed training about how it is to be handled, no exceptions—and what the consequences will be if the rules are not followed.
This certainly appears worse than the two “Top Secret” emails found on the server. The State Department and Democrats can spin all they want, but this isn’t good at all. What’s even more troubling is McCullough wanted to see all the emails, but the State Department wouldn’t let him. There’s no word if McCullough will now get access to the emails. Not only that, but the attorney for former Clinton top aide Cheryl Mills told a judge the State Department wanted her to delete her emails.
We ask you to clarify with Judge Sullivan that it was the State Department that asked for the return of all copies of potential federal records in Ms. Mills’ possession and going forward it will be the State Department’s responsibility to secure permission from Judge Sullivan to remove any copies of such emails from Ms. Mills email account.
Wow. That’s a big change from almost a week ago when Mills said she was going to delete her emails after giving them back to the State Department. This may show how serious this situation is being viewed by Mills’ camp. Huma Abedin will also not be deleting her emails. Both Mills and Abedin are considered part of Clinton’s inner circle of allies. It’s doubtful there are cracks showing in Hillaryland, but it’s pretty interesting to see all these moves. It’s possible these are being done to point fingers at people in State as a way for Mills and Abedin to appear “innocent as doves.” If they aren’t just deflecting and are telling the truth, then heads could roll at State. But Clinton’s camp is obviously worried. Check out this explanation on her website.
Clinton said she did not use her email to send or receive classified information, but the State Department and two Inspectors General said some of these emails do contain classified information. Was her statement inaccurate?
Clinton only used her account for unclassified email. No information in Clinton’s emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them.
When information is reviewed for public release, it is common for information previously unclassified to be upgraded to classified if the State Department or another agency believes its public release could cause potential harm to national security, law enforcement or diplomatic relations.
After reviewing a sampling of the 55,000 pages of emails, the Inspectors General have proffered that a small number of emails, which did not contain any classified markings and/or dissemination controls, should have been classified at the time they were sent. The State Department has said it disagrees with this assessment.
Clinton hopes the State Department and the agencies involved in the review process will sort out as quickly as possible which of the 55,000 pages of emails are appropriate to share with the public.
How did Clinton receive and consume classified information?
The Secretary’s office was located in a secure area. Classified information was viewed in hard copy by Clinton while in the office. While on travel, the State Department had rigorous protocols for her and traveling staff to receive and transmit information of all types. A separate, closed email system was used by the State Department for the purpose of handling classified communications, which was designed to prevent such information from being transmitted anywhere other than within that system.
Uh huh. Clinton probably doesn’t have an out here, unless she’s luckier than Marvel Comics’ Domino (which she just might be). NBC News already reported all top national security and trade officials had their private emails targeted. Which means the hackers could have figured out a way to penetrate her private email, or the private emails of one of her top subordinates. Remember, the released Clinton emails showed the clintonemail.com addresses of both Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin. But the documents redacted the personal emails of Cheryl Mills, which means it probably wasn’t a clintonemail.com address. The hackers could have targeted Mills’ personal email, found Clinton or Abedin’s IP address, tracked down the location, and started the hack there. This is stuff which is well beyond my area of expertise, but it is possible. It just depends on the level of security Platte River Networks had when they set up Clinton’s server. If the sever was hard to get into, then it’s unlikely Clinton’s email was hacked. But considering some of the Chinese cyber-attacks happened in the Denver area, it’s possible Platte River Networks was targeted. Only they know, and they aren’t talking.
No one actually knows what’s on the server and whether it can be recovered. This is the same server which Clinton’s lawyer promised there wasn’t anything on in a letter to Congressman Trey Gowdy.
To avoid prolonging a discussion that would be academic, I have confirmed with the Secretary’s IT support that no e-mails from for the time period between January 21, 2009 through February 1, 2013 reside on the server or on any back-up system associated with the server. Thus, there are no e-mails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized.
It will be interesting to see if the server is actually blank. If it isn’t, then would Clinton’s lawyer get in trouble? Or would he be able to blame Platte River Networks for giving him bad information. Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson is demanding answers from Platte, according to a letter obtained by McClatchy.
“Given that the server was used to conduct official State Department business, questions have been raised regarding whether classified information was stored on the private server,” Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin wrote Platte’s president in a letter Tuesday. He said he also wants to know “if that data was secure, who had access to that material and whether all official documents were appropriately preserved”…He requested all communications referring to the server “between or among employees or contractors of Platte River” and between company employees and the family’s global charity, the Clinton Foundation. Johnson also sought an explanation of whether the company is “authorized to maintain or access classified information.”
That’s a pretty interesting question at the end. If they weren’t authorized to have access or maintain classified information, then this probe is going to get larger and larger. Clinton is still lucky all this is coming out now instead of closer to the primaries or general election. If she’s not charged with anything (and there’s still no guarantee that will happen) Clinton can point out she’s innocent. She can also blame her tech firm and just swear things were “a-okay” when the server was originally put in place in 2009. But with the recent cyber attacks by China, playing the “blame game” isn’t going to get anywhere. There are consequences to actions. The only question is whether Clinton will learn this the hard way. Of course, if that server is empty maybe the State Department can ask Russia or China for help. If they’re reading John Kerry’s emails then they might Clinton’s.