NEW YORK – Judicial Watch’s release this week of 725 pages of State Department emails involving Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin demonstrates the Obama administration considers a large percentage of the emails sent through Clinton’s private server too sensitive for Congress or the American public to read.
Of the 725 pages, more than 250 pages were 100 percent redacted, many with “PAGE DENIED” stamped in bold.
Judicial Watch said the new cache includes previously unreleased email exchanges in which former Abedin “provided influential Clinton Foundation donors special, expedited access to the secretary of state.”
Judicial Watch added that in many instances, the preferential treatment provided to donors was at the specific request of Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band.
“The Abedin emails reveal that the longtime Clinton aide apparently served as a conduit between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton while Clinton served as secretary of state. In more than a dozen email exchanges, Abedin provided expedited, direct access to Clinton for donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation,” Judicial Watch said in a statement announcing the release.
“In many instances, Clinton Foundation top executive Doug Band, who worked with the Foundation throughout Hillary Clinton’s tenure at State, coordinated closely with Abedin.”
100 percent redaction
Previous releases of Clinton emails have forced the Obama administration to admit highly sensitive State Department information was transmitted over Clinton’s private email server.
On July 7, Charles McCullough, the inspector general of the intelligence community for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, admitted his office did not have the security clearances required to read the emails transmitted over Clinton’s private email server that Congress was demanding to see.
See C-SPAN video of McCullough’s testimony:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, generated the response by asking McCullough if he could provide the committee, in a secure format, the classified emails transmitted over Clinton’s private email server.
“I cannot provide a certain segment of them because the agency that owns the information for those emails has limited the distribution on those,” McCullough explained. “They are characterizing them as OrCon, ‘originator control,’ so I can’t give them to even Congress without getting the agency’s permission to provide them.”
“Which agency?” Chaffetz interjected.
“I can’t say that in an open hearing sir,” McCullough replied.
“So you can’t even tell me which agency won’t allow us, as members of Congress, to see something that Hillary Clinton allowed somebody without a security clearance, in a non-protected format to see. That’s correct?” Chaffetz responded, in obvious disbelief.
McCullough responded that he could not tell the committee in an open hearing even what the emails were about, let alone reveal their specific contents.
“I don’t want to violate that, but the concern is it was already violated by Hillary Clinton,” Chaffetz told the IG. “It was her choice, and she set it up, and she created this problem, and she created this mess. We shouldn’t have to go through this, but she did that.”
“This is the segment of emails that I had to have people in my office read-in to particular programs to even see these emails,” McCullough responded. “We didn’t posses the required clearances.”
“So even the Inspector General for ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) didn’t have the requisite security clearances?” Chaffetz pressed, seeking to clarify McCullough’s statement.
“That’s correct. I had to get read-ins for them,” McCullough said.
“Wow,” Chaffetz said. “Unbelievable. What a mess.”
On Aug. 16, the FBI pledged to release to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee some 14,900 previously undisclosed documents related to the investigation into Clinton’s private email server.
Chaffetz: ‘Even I am not sufficiently cleared’
By Aug. 22, Chaffetz once again went public, explaining security clearances were needed to review the heavily redacted materials.
“As the chairman of the chief investigative body in the House, it is significant I can’t even read these documents in their entirety,” Chaffetz told Fox News. “This shows how dangerous it was to have this intelligence, highly classified to this day, on the former secretary’s unsecured personal server where it was vulnerable.”
Fox News commented that the fact that portions of the FBI investigative file are heavily redacted and must be held and read by lawmakers in a secure facility on Capitol Hill shows how classified the material remains, despite claims made by the Clinton campaign.
“The campaign’s call to release the FBI agents’ notes appears suspect because the material is too highly classified to make public,” Fox News reported. “The FBI told the committee that the documents cannot be released in part or in full without prior agency approval.”
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show Aug. 22, Chaffetz again complained about the high level of redactions in the released FBI documents.
“Hillary Clinton is out there saying there’s not very much sensitive information in there, that she didn’t trade in sensitive classified information. It’s so sensitive and so classified that even I as the chairman of the Oversight Committee don’t have the high level of clearance to see what’s in those materials,” Chaffetz said.