Intelligence Community officials have started working with the State Department team assigned to review all 55,000 pages of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails in an effort to identify any information in the communications that they believe is classified and should be withheld from disclosure.
In a five-page declaration filed Friday evening in US District Court in Washington, DC, John Hackett, the State Department’s top Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) official, said the department last month added Intelligence Community reviewers from five of the 17 intelligence agencies to the project after concerns were raised that Clinton’s emails were not being properly vetted for intelligence information.
Hackett’s declaration was filed in response to VICE News’s FOIA lawsuit against the State Department, filed last January in which we sought all of Clinton’s emails. Our complaint prompted a federal judge to order the State Department to release a batch of Clinton’s emails every month.
“The Department recently added another step in the review process, at the recommendation of the Inspectors General for the Department and the Intelligence Community (IC),” Hackett wrote. “These Inspectors General raised concerns about the Department’s evaluation of other agencies’ equities and recommended that the Department’s FOIA Office seek staff support from IC FOIA offices to assist in identifying IC equities. In response to this recommendation, the Department made arrangements for the IC to provide reviewers to assist the Department in identifying potential IC equities in its review of the emails.”