An email that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sent almost four months after she left the State Department was partially redacted before being publicly released, raising questions about whether she conveyed classified information as a private citizen.
The May 2013 email, which the Republican National Committee obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request and provided Wednesday, joins more than 2,000 messages that the former secretary of state sent or received through her private server during her tenure that have been labeled “confidential,” a low level of classification.
Clinton and her campaign have said that many of the documents were classified retroactively in order to release them publicly. That was the case with the May 2013 email, State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement Wednesday.
Clinton sent the message, reported earlier Wednesday by the New York Post, to current and former State Department officials. In it, she forwarded a link to a New York Times story about South Korea’s nuclear reactor and went on to reminisce about an episode from when she was the top U.S. diplomat.
“Remember how after US signed 123 deal w UAE and we were in Abu Dhabi and…,” she wrote before the redacted text.
The deal itself was no secret: A week before the email, President Barack Obama had submitted to Congress an agreement between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates, also known as a “123 Agreement,” that would “establish the legal framework for the United States to engage in civil nuclear cooperation with the UAE under agreed nonproliferation conditions and controls,” according to a State Department news release at the time.
The U.S. has such agreements, which are sometimes referred to by the section of the Atomic Energy Act that requires them, with 22 nations plus two international bodies, according to the Department of Energy.
On July 5, FBI Director James Comey concluded the bureau’s investigation into Clinton’s use of private e-mail by saying that she and other State Department officials were “extremely careless” in handling sensitive information but that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring” criminal charges. He said that 110 messages contained classified information when they were sent, while 2,000 more had been retroactively classified.
Republicans have repeatedly criticized Clinton over her handling of classified information, with the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, calling it criminal.
“Hillary Clinton’s secret server jeopardized our national security and sensitive diplomatic efforts on more than 2,000 occasions, and shockingly, it now appears her reckless conduct continued even after leaving the State Department,” Jason Miller, a senior communications adviser to Trump, said Wednesday in a campaign statement.
A Clinton campaign spokesman didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.
(c) 2016, Bloomberg · Ben Brody