Emails on Hillary Clinton’s “home-brew” email server were so sensitive that senior lawmakers with the highest levels of security clearance must sign additional nondisclosure agreements before viewing them.
Senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and other key lawmakers do not have authorization to view intelligence known as “special access programs,” or SAP, on Clinton’s server, a source told Fox News on Thursday.
The former secretary of state has been dogged with new questions on her handling of classified documents since news of the SAP intelligence was reported Tuesday. A Jan. 14 letter from Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III to lawmakers and officials confirmed SAP intelligence passed through Clinton’s server. The letter was exclusively obtained by Fox.
“To date, I have received two sworn declarations from one [intelligence community] element. These declarations cover several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the confidential, secret, and top secret/sap levels,” said the IG letter. “According to the declarant, these documents contain information derived from classified IC element sources.”
The Democrat front-runner’s campaign spokesman Brian Fallon responded Wednesday by alleging McCullough, an appointee of President Obama, was part of a “coordinated leak” with Republicans.
“Two months ago, there was a Politico report that directly challenged the finding of this inspector general, and I don’t think he liked that very much,” Fallon told CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota, WND reported. “So I think that he put two Republican senators up to sending him a letter so that he would have an excuse to resurface the same allegations he made back in the summer that have been discredited.”
Clinton told NPR on Thursday that McCullough’s letter was just “another leak” meant to hurt her campaign.
“I’m just going to leave it up to the professionals at the Justice Department because nothing that this says changes the fact that I never sent or received material marked classified,” Clinton said.
Fox chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge said Clinton’s comment was a giant red herring.
“It is the content that is classified – not the format it is in,” Herridge said Thursday. “To suggest to people that there is somehow a big rubber stamp with ‘classified’ that’s smacked on every document is completely misleading and that something you only see in the movies. Mrs. Clinton knows better because she had to have special training as secretary of state because she has classification authority.”
Herridge said the State Department final release of Clinton’s emails next week will not include the SAP emails because everything but the date, time-stamp, and subject line would need to be redacted.
Thomas Dupree, a former Justice Department official, told the network that warnings from State Department IT employees and others that Clinton should use an official government account will further complicate her defense.
“If you have a situation where someone was knowingly violating the law and that they knew that what they were doing was prohibited by federal law because other people were saying, ‘You’re violating the law, knock it off,’ and they disregarded that advice and they went ahead, that’s a very difficult case to defend,” Dupree said Thursday.
Approximately 100 FBI special agents are assigned to an investigation that will determine if the former secretary of state violated a subsection of the Espionage Act related to “gross negligence” in handling government documents. That investigation also has a second track, which is to determine whether co-mingling of the Clinton Foundation and State Department business violated public corruption laws.