The State Department on Monday released the last 3,871 pages of emails Hillary Clinton exchanged using a private server while she was secretary of state, ending a months-long review of her correspondence that concluded that more than 2,000 classified emails traversed Clinton’s email server.
The department had been required by a federal judge to make the documents public in batches, as part of a lawsuit over public records. It has been doing so since last May.
The current emails include a message with an attachment containing a note that Obama national security adviser Tom Donilon slipped into the Kosel on a trip to Eretz Yisroel in 2012. Officials claim that the note was a joke sent to Clinton by an aide.
The attachment is addressed to “Hashem” and includes inside jokes mocking then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Clinton’s top Asia aide, Kurt Campbell. It bears a “TOP SECRET” stamp.
“This document, and the email chain to which it was attached, are unclassified,” a State Department official said. “This document is not a real note. It is a joke written by Secretary Clinton’s communications adviser, Philippe Reines, and was attached to an email chain discussing senior officials’ travel to Israel in July 2012.”
According to information released on Monday by the State Department, Clinton’s emails totaled 52,402 pages and included 2,101 emails that had been redacted in all or part because they contained material that was deemed classified.
Clinton has struggled on the campaign trail to move past the issue of her use of a private email server while a member of the Obama administration. Republicans have made clear that they will make the subject a centerpiece of attacks against her should she win the nomination, with Marco Rubio saying her use of a private server “disqualified” her to be president and Donald Trump telling Fox News earlier this month that she “seems to be guilty” of a crime before amending that to say it would be something he would look into if elected.
Clinton also confronts an FBI investigation and a State Department inspector’s general probe into whether classified information was mishandled or other federal laws were violated.
Nearly all of the emails were classified by the State Department at the “confidential” level, the lowest level of sensitivity, but 44 were classified at the “secret” level. An additional 22 emails were withheld from public release entirely because they were deemed “top secret,” the most sensitive level of classification.
Republicans are likely to use those numbers to charge that Clinton was reckless in her handling of national secrets through her use a of a private server for her email correspondence.
A State Department spokesman said Monday that one of two emails that had been labeled “top secret” by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community over the summer has been reassessed and reclassified at the “secret” level. Clinton’s allies have long accused the inspector general of overclassifying the correspondence.
Clinton and the State Department have said that none of the material was marked “classified” at the time it was sent, even though more recently it has been deemed too sensitive to release publicly.
It is the responsibility of individual government officials to properly mark sensitive material, and the State Department has indicated that an analysis has not been conducted as to whether the material should have been marked classified and sent through secure channels.
The Washington Post · Rosalind S. Helderman