Politics

Hillary Clinton's Email Scandal Just Got More Complicated

| by Robert Fowler
Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonFormer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

It has recently been revealed that a number of the emails that passed through Hillary Clinton’s private server during her time as Secretary of State reportedly contained information more sensitive than “top secret.”

Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a private, unencrypted server while she was Secretary of State continues to haunt her presidential campaign. A declassified letter written by Intelligence Community (IC) Inspector General Charles McCullough III on Jan. 14 confirmed that some of the emails sent to Clinton contained contained information on “special access programs” (SAP), Fox News reports.

Documents with an SAP classification can compromise how intelligence communities gather information and even the names of human assets, making them all the more sensitive. Intel from these programs are reportedly considered more sensitive than "top secret."

“It is the most sensitive of the sensitive,” an anonymous former law enforcement official told Fox News.

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Clinton had used a private server in her home to send and receive emails while serving as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama during his first term. The concern among intelligence officials is that foreign powers could have intercepted these unguarded emails, compromising highly sensitive information.

SAP clearances are given on a need-to-know basis. McCullough himself had to be given a clearance in order to find out what SAP information the emails contained, an anonymous intelligence official told NBC.

Clinton has maintained that none of the emails that passed through her server were classified top secret at the time. The investigation into her use of a private server has confirmed this, although some of her emails have retroactively been labeled top secret.

The investigation has highlighted how the IC and the State Department have a difference of opinion about what should be considered top secret.

The majority of Clinton’s emails have been released by the State Department after undergoing heavy redacting. By Jan. 29, all of them will have been released.

On Jan. 20, Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon appeared on CNN to dismiss claims that the presidential candidate had done anything wrong, and he said that the State Department had OK’d all of the emails that were sent to Clinton’s server. He added that McCullough had an agenda against the former Secretary of State.

Fallon also released this statement:

This is the same interagency dispute that has been playing out for months, and it does not change the fact that these emails were not classified at the time they were sent or received. It is alarming that the intelligence community IC, working with Republicans in Congress, continues to selectively leak materials in order to resurface the same allegations and try to hurt Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Sources: CNN, Fox News, NBC News / Photo Credit: Hillary for America/Flickr (2)