Last night, as America girded its loins – or its livers – for the Trump/Palin Iowa rally, NBC News dropped a bombshell about the Clinton email investigation. Thankfully for Hillary Clinton who had just received news that she was running a full 20 points behind Bernie Sanders in the latest poll, Team Trump’s Iowa antics ensured that the story flew mostly under the radar, but she may not escape the long term legal repercussions.
According to NBC News and letter issued yesterday to Congress, the Inspector General’s team looking into Clinton’s private server use had to have their security clearances upgraded before they were allowed to read content in around 20 emails, some of which were marked ‘Top Secret/Special Access Program,’ above even the Top Secret designation found on emails before.
Charles McCulllough, the intelligence community’s inspector general, said in a letter to the chairmen of the Senate intelligence and foreign affairs committees that he has received sworn declarations from an intelligence agency he declined to name.
The declarations cover “several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET and TOP SECRET/SAP information.”
An intelligence official familiar with the matter told NBC News that the special access program in question was so sensitive that McCullough and some of his aides had to receive clearance to be read in on it before viewing the sworn declaration about the Clinton emails.
Top Secret/Special Access Program is described by NBC as, “a secrecy designation that includes some of the most closely held U.S. intelligence matters.” Others have described the designation as an exclusive communications mechanism designed to mark materials that should be shared only with major administration officials, mostly Cabinet members. So, obviously these were not things Clinton should have been passing through a bathroom server with almost no security protocols.
So what does Hillary Clinton have to say about her electronic activities? Well, it’s all just a vast right wing conspiracy, of course. The Inspector General is just a Republican plant, despite not being a Republican, and he’s just out to handicap former Secretary Clinton’s chances of being President.
CAMEROTA: But the Inspector General isn’t a Republican.
FALLON: Actually, I think this was a very coordinated leak yesterday.
CAMEROTA: Why do you think he’s a stooge of the Republicans in Congress? I’ve heard you say that. What’s your evidence?
FALLON: Because two months ago there was a Politico report that directly challenged the finding of this Inspector General, and I don’t think he liked that very much. So I think that he put two Republican Senators up to sending him a letter so that he would have an excuse to resurface the same allegations he made back in the summer that have been discredited.
Clinton’s team tried again, later, claiming that the security clearance problem resulted from an “interagency dispute,” where material declared classified outside of the State Department was subsequently unclassified once it passed into State Department mailboxes. That’s an interesting claim, but there’s a big problem: State can’t declare something unclassified. That has to come from other agencies that determine the need for classification, or the White House. And unless Barack Obama and his security advisors were hastily slapping off Top Secret classifications as the emails jetted into the Clinton server, in some bizarre rerouting scheme that has failed, so far, to come to light, the “interagency dispute” claim probably won’t hold much water once the indictments start pouring in.
IF the indictments start pouring in.
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