When will enough be enough?
Since the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal first broke, supporters of Clinton have clung to a narrative that rejects the possibility that her private systems of record keeping and communication could have caused a national security breach. Spokespeople from the State Department and Clinton’s own team have stood by her testimony promising that her personal server didn’t convey or store any classified material.
This narrative survived the unveiling of several e-mails that State has now marked classified, but that discovery prompted deeper digging by activists and the media. Reuters investigated some of these new “classified” stamps and found that the e-mails marked with those new stamps contain information State’s own regulations deem classified, with our without the official designation.
In the small fraction of emails made public so far, Reuters has found at least 30 email threads from 2009, representing scores of individual emails, that include what the State Department’s own “Classified” stamps now identify as so-called ‘foreign government information.’ The U.S. government defines this as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts.
This sort of information, which the department says Clinton both sent and received in her emails, is the only kind that must be “presumed” classified, in part to protect national security and the integrity of diplomatic interactions, according to U.S. regulations examined by Reuters.
“It’s born classified,” said J. William Leonard, a former director of the U.S. government’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). Leonard was director of ISOO, part of the White House’s National Archives and Records Administration, from 2002 until 2008, and worked for both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.
“If a foreign minister just told the secretary of state something in confidence, by U.S. rules that is classified at the moment it’s in U.S. channels and U.S. possession,” he said in a telephone interview, adding that for the State Department to say otherwise was “blowing smoke.”
Clinton had doubled down on the “no classified material” narrative as early as Tuesday of this week, making this report even more shocking. The FBI is investigating, and according to the Reuters report linked above, the State Department refuses to acknowledge (at least at this point) that even a few classified e-mails were discovered on the server.
They don’t know. Why would they?
Yesterday, I was in the courtroom when a federal judge dragged DoJ attorneys across the coals over their apparent lack of interest in the various investigations into Clinton’s e-mails, server, and “system of records.” The attorney on record for State spent a good ten minutes tripping over his own tongue after the judge demanded to know the physical location of the server and thumb drives in question.
So, here we are: State doesn’t know if there are any classified e-mails stored on the server, much less pages’ worth. They refused to confirm in open court which agency under the DoJ is in possession of the server, either because their attorneys don’t know, or don’t want to confirm a location for fear it could lead to more inconvenient information leaking out. An independent investigation has blown a huge hole in the “no classified material” narrative that Clinton’s campaign is banking on, and we’re still not done looking for material responsive to Judicial Watch’s latest FOIA request.
When will it finally be enough for Democrats? Because from where I’m sitting, the majority of the party is still willing to hedge their bets with a candidate who has more skeletons in her closet than pantsuits.DONATE
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