Inspector General: Clinton Had Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information on Her Private Email Server

By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 11, 2015 | 10:42pm EDT
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( - Following receipt today of a memorandum from Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough stating that two of the forty emails his office had been allowed to review from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server contained information that was classified at the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R.-Iowa) released a copy of the IG’s memo and a statement.

“The congressional notification provided by the Intelligence Community Inspector General said more specifically that two of the four emails that the office had previously described as ‘above Secret’ were, in fact, classified at the Top Secret/SCI level,” Grassley’s statement said.

The Judiciary chairman posted a copy of the IG’s memo—without the attached emails—on his Senate website.

“These emails, attached hereto, have been properly marked by IC classification officials, and include information classified up to ‘TOP SECRET//SI/TK/NOFORN,’” said the IC IG’s cover memo to a group of 17 members of Congress that included the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees.

In a previous memo sent July 23 to DNI James Clapper and the chairmen and ranking members of the congressional intelligence committees, IC IG McCullough had said that his office had only been allowed by the State Department to review a “limited sampling of 40” of the 30,000 State Department emails that had been on Clinton’s private server.

Of these, four were classified. “Further, my office’s limited sampling of the 40 emails revealed four contained classified information which should have been marked and handled at the SECRET level,” the IG said at that time.

McCullough also said in that earlier memo that State Department FOIA officials had indicated “that there are potentially hundreds of classified emails within the approximately 30,000 provided by former Secretary Clinton.”

The IG further said that “the 30,000 emails in question are purported to have been copied to a thumb drive in the possession of former Secretary Clinton’s personal counsel, Williams and Connolly attorney, David Kendall.”

The State Department later indicated it did not object to Clinton’s personal lawyer keeping the emails at his private law office, but that for ‘jurisdictional” reasons it did not want to give them to the Inspector General of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

“State agreed to provide State IG with limited access to these 30,000 emails,” IC IG McCullough said in his July 23 memo. “However, State rejected my office’s request on jurisdictional grounds.”

In a joint statement released on July 24, IC IG McCullough and State Department IG Steve Linick said that the four classified emails of the 40 the IC IG had been able to review contained classified information from the Intelligence Community that was classified at the time the emails were generated.

“The IC IG found four emails containing classified IC-derived information in a limited sample of 40 emails of the 30,000 emails provided by former Secretary Clinton,” said the two IGs. “The four emails, which have not been released through the State FOIA process, did not contain classified markings and/or dissemination controls.

“These emails were not retroactively classified by the State Department,” the IGs said, “rather these emails contained classified information when they were generated and, according to IC classification officials, that information remains classified today. This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”

The memo that IG McCullough sent today went to 17 members of Congress—including the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees—and to DNI Clapper.

It said:

(U) “In response to the above referenced congressional notification, my office received multiple Congressional requests for copies of Former Secretary Clinton’s emails containing classified Intelligence Community (IC) information. These emails, attached hereto, have been properly marked by IC classification officials, and include information classified up to ‘TOP SECRET//SI/TK/NOFORN.’

(U) IC classification officials reviewed two additional emails and judged that they contained classified State Department information when originated. These officials referred the emails to State Department classification officials on 7 August 2015 for final determination on current classification. We will provide these documents once they have been properly marked by State Department.

(U) This represents the most accurate accounting of the emails identified to day, as summarized in TAB 1. We will provide updates as we learn more.

“I appreciate the Intelligence Community Inspector General providing more information in response to the questions that many members of Congress and the public have regarding the classified emails that were on former Secretary of State Clinton’s private server and on a thumb drive with her private attorney,” said Grassley. “This information revealed by the inspector general makes it even more important that the FBI and the State Department secure these documents.  To date, the two agencies most critical to securing this information have failed to assure the American people that they are taking the necessary steps to protect America’s national security interests.”

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday evening that former Secretary Clinton had decided to turn over her email server to the Justice Department, and that her lawyer, David Kendall, handed over to the department three thumb drives containing copies of the State Department emails that had been on Clinton’s private server.

“There is no evidence she used encryption to shield the emails or her personal server from foreign intelligence services or other potentially prying eyes,” the AP reported. 

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