A veteran of the U.S. armed forces told Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton that he would have been thrown in prison if he handled classified information in the same manner she did as Secretary of State (video below).
“Had I communicated this information not following prescribed protocols, I would have been prosecuted and imprisoned,” the veteran said on NBC's "Commander-In-Chief Forum," according to a transcript of the event published by Time. “Secretary Clinton, how can you expect those, such as myself, who were and are trusted with America’s most sensitive information to have any confidence in your leadership as president when you clearly corrupted our national security?”
Clinton, who sent and received classified emails over a private server based out of her New York home, responded by saying she did nothing wrong.
“Well I appreciate your concern and also your experience, but let me try to make the distinctions that I think are important for me to answer your question,” Clinton said. “First, as I said to [NBC host] Matt [Lauer], you know and I know, classified material is designated. … And what we have here is the use of an unclassified system by hundreds of people in our government to send information that was not marked, there were no headers, there was no statement top secret, secret, or confidential.”
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However, some emails were marked with a “C” to indicate they were classified. But during an interview with the FBI in July, Clinton said she didn't know what the “C” referred to, reported Fox News.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange blasted Clinton for saying she didn't know that certain emails were classified.
"Hillary Clinton says she can't remember what a ‘C’ in brackets stands for,” Assange told Fox News. “Everyone in positions of government and in WikiLeaks knows it stands for classified, ‘confidential.'”
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U.S. News & World Report summarized several cases of people who were criminally charged for mishandling classified information, including former CIA Director John Deutch. In a similar case to Clinton's, Deutch stored classified information on private computers at his home between 1995 and 1996.
The Defense Department found that Deutch failed to follow "the most basic security precautions.”
Deutch was about to plea to a misdemeanor, but President Bill Clinton pardoned him.