Deeper: Excuses Dropping Like Flies as Intel Agencies, Evidence Refute Clinton Email Claims

Posted: Aug 26, 2015 10:25 AM
Deeper: Excuses Dropping Like Flies as Intel Agencies, Evidence Refute Clinton Email Claims

Didn't we already know this? Sort of. McClatchy  reported in late July that classified information from five US intelligence agencies were found on Hillary Clinton's unsecure email server, contradicting her claim that "there is no classified material" on the server. Team Clinton adapted their talking points to say that the server didn't contain anything that was classified at the time, allowing that retroactive classifications had occurred. Two independent Inspectors General said otherwise from the beginning, then Reuters debunked the updated spin conclusively last week, concluding: "[Emails on the server] are filled with a type of information the U.S. government and the department's own regulations automatically deems classified from the get-go."  The latest wrinkle from Fox News national security correspondent Catherine Herridge focuses on one email in particular. It was the message that "kickstarted" the investigation into the mishandling of classified information and a potential data breach -- and according to her sources, it included details furnished by three US intelligence agencies. Note well that the material was and is classified, and pay special attention to the bit about President Obama's executive order that undermines Hillary's additional claim that this is really just about an inter-agency dispute:

"All three agencies have confirmed that the intelligence was classified when it was sent three years ago, and remains classified to this day."  Furthermore, "only the three intelligence agencies who own that information in the first place have the authority to declassify it.  Not Mrs. Clinton. And not the State Department."  Within the squabble described by Hillary in the clip, her agency -- which has continued to run interference on her behalf long after her departure -- was in the wrong.  The Washington Examiner took a closer look at some of the classified topics that passed through Clinton's private server, including discussions with foreign leaders and embassy security -- a particularly sensitive issue.  The report undercuts two extra justifications and excuses cooked up by Team Hillary. First:

Abedin was frequently involved in the transmission of classified information to Clinton, emails show. Cheryl Mills, Clinton's former chief of staff, and Jake Sullivan, former director of policy planning, also routinely sent or received classified emails from the secretary of state. Despite her campaign's claims that Clinton was simply a "passive recipient" of classified information, a review of her emails indicates she wrote messages that are now classified.

And second, via Ed Morrissey, here's the classification tag from the bottom of one of the memos:

"CONFIDENTIAL," with a declassification date in 2019. The last iteration of Hillary's ever-evolving spin was that none of the information was marked as classified at the time (which is legally irrelevant, by the way). Oops. They might consider sticking to "the rules she violated are dumb" from now on -- though that probably won't help them politically, and like the "it wasn't marked" line, it certainly isn't a legal defense. Here's Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney laughably asserting that Hillary Clinton cared very deeply about protecting classified information, repeating several discredited and disproven claims along the way: