The FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email usage grows increasingly serious. Whether Clinton deleted emails pertinent to a Congressional investigation is only one facet of the unfolding story.

Among the emails made public by the State Department, several were later upgraded to “classified.” a FOIA lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch also found Hillary was not the only individual using a email. Huma Abedin, one of Clinton’s closest aides, also had an email address with the domain that was used during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.

Repeatedly, Clinton has said half of all emails sent from her personal email account and contained on her home-brewed server were personal in nature and thus, not passed on to the Department of State for record retention. She’s also claimed that emails sent from secured government email accounts were automatically captured by the State Department. This carefully worded claim does not account for those emails sent to aides like Abedin, who we now know also used a email address.

What began as an inquisition into the former Secretary handled classified information on her unclassified server has been broadened to include her aides:

That email, which included an update from the Africa Command of the Department of Defense detailing Libyan military movements, is part of the evidence that law enforcement officials say the F.B.I. is now examining as it tries to determine whether aides to Mrs. Clinton mishandled delicate national security information when they communicated with their boss.

The Libyan dispatch, written by an aide to Mrs. Clinton and then forwarded to her by Huma Abedin, one of her top advisers, should have been considered classified, according to intelligence officials. And, they say, other emails to Mrs. Clinton they have found, including one addressing North Korea’s nuclear weapons system and a third discussing United States drone strikes in Pakistan, should have been marked “Top Secret.”

There is no evidence that any of the emails — a small portion of some 60,000 that Mrs. Clinton sent or received as secretary of state — were hacked or caused any harm to American interests, and law enforcement officials have said she is not a target of their investigation. But one of the questions they are seeking to answer is whether her aides or other State Department officials broke federal rules or laws when they sent her information. And arriving at an answer will not be simple, given the complex and often conflicting views of just how diplomatically fragile the information conveyed in the emails actually was.

…Even if Mrs. Clinton’s aides simply summarized classified material provided to them by others — as opposed to forwarding her a classified document — they may have violated federal laws that govern how intelligence information is handled, experts in government classification laws said.

…Ms. Abedin then forwarded it to Mrs. Clinton. While Ms. Abedin would have no clear reason to presume this information was classified, Mr. Davis could be found at fault for distributing the information in an unclassified setting. Mr. Davis, who is still at the State Department, did not respond to a request for commen

Sources indicated earlier this week that the FBI recovered the contents of Hillary’s home-brewed server.

Was there a concerted conspiracy to violate the law, particularly given the fact that Clinton opted for a private email on her person server? Who else knew classified information was being transmitted outside of government purview?

If any of these suspicions are confirmed throughout the course of the FBI’s investigation, will aides then be offered legal concessions if they cooperate?

What were once Clinton’s closest lackeys may end up being her downfall.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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