The incessant drip-drip-drip of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal continues to plague her.
Late on a Sunday night, the FBI released 300 more pages of Clinton emails.
And the explosive contents show why Hillary Clinton was in so much trouble.
The emails show that the State Department questioned the FBI’s determination to label as “classified” a 2012 email regarding the Benghazi arrests.
“The email was the first from Clinton’s private account and server to be publicly identified as “SECRET,” fueling arguments that Clinton and State had been careless in handling sensitive information.
Notations applied to the message when it was reviewed in 2015 show it was classified because of the potential impact on U.S. relations overseas. However, the newly-disclosed FBI communications messages show one official there argued that the message should actually be classified based on its potential to disclose intelligence “sources and methods”—a designation that could have raised red flags with the press and on Capitol Hill.
“The redaction lists ‘interference with foreign relations as the rationale.’ The crux of States [sic] argument is they know better what will impact foreign relations and there is no longer a government in place” in Libya, the unidentified FBI official wrote to Michelle Jupina, the FBI Assistant Director for Records Management. “The more appropriate rationale is sources and methods. While the email does not name the particular official, this might be deduced and, given the threat of violence in the region, any surmise could be fatal for whoever cooperated with us. State will say no one will know if it is redacted, but that is not how classification works.”
The dispute was the crux of the scandal.
Hillary Clinton falsely claimed she never sent nor received any classified information on her unsecured, private email server.
The emails also revealed the aggressive posture taken by Deputy Secretary of State for Management, Patrick Kennedy, towards the FBI’s decision to classify some of Clinton’s emails.
Politico also reports:
“The message shows Deputy Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy intervened with the FBI to dispute the classification at least three times: in a May 14, 2015, call to International Operations Division chief Brian McCauley, at an in-person meeting at the State Department five days later and in a phone conversation with the head of FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, Michael Steinbach.
The unnamed FBI author of the message to Jupina said Kennedy summoned various officials to State to discuss the review of 55,000 of Clinton emails requested under FOIA. At that meeting, Kennedy asked the FBI representative and a Justice Department FOIA official to “stay behind to discuss the FBI determination” on classification in the first batch of Clinton emails, the FBI email says.
An email from Steinbach said he turned down Kennedy’s request that the information be withheld solely under a FOIA provision for protection of law enforcement sources, rather than by classifying it.
“I explained to Mr. Kennedy that to only exempt for (b)(7)(D) was not appropriate as the information in the two portions in question was classified at the Secret/NOFORN level,” Steinbach wrote.”
The attempt to debate the FBI’s classification of Clinton’s emails shows how seriously politics intruded into the State Department’s handling of the matter.
Critics argue the conduct of officials like Kennedy was politically motivated.
The scandal was damaging for Hillary Clinton and the loyal State Department officials who worked to minimize the damage rather than work to find the truth.
The second bombshell from the new documents was the FBI concluded that hostile foreign actors compromised the email accounts of individuals who were regularly in contact with Hillary Clinton and gained access to the emails she had sent.
“There are five sets of documents on the FBI site. In the first one, the FBI states that it found “that hostile foreign actors successfully gained access to the personal email accounts of individuals associated with whom Clinton was in regular contact and, in doing so, obtained emails sent to or received by Clinton on her personal account.”
While Democrats and the media invent excuses for why Hillary lost, such as “fake” news and Russian hackers, it was her decision to use an unsecured private email server, which in the end, fed the public’s impression of her – that she is an ethically compromised liar.