As Katie noted yesterday, ABC News and Fox News are reporting that the confirmed total of classified emails on Hillary Clinton's improper, unsecure, national security-compromising email server currently sits at 999. That number will undoubtedly surpass the 1,000 mark as additional tranches of messages are released by the State Department, under court order. Let's review how we got here. In March, Hillary Clinton asserted that there "is no classified material" on her private server. This, put bluntly, was a flagrant lie:
In fact, her rule-breaking arrangement resulted in at least 1,000 classified emails passing through her vulnerable server, including data from five or more US intelligence agencies. Next, Mrs. Clinton claimed she hadn't personally sent or received any classified information via the server. This was also factually wrong:
While she was secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote and sent at least six e-mails using her private server that contained what government officials now say is classified information, according to thousands of e-mails released by the State Department...They suggest that her role in distributing sensitive material via her private e-mail system went beyond receiving notes written by others, and appears to contradict earlier public statements in which she denied sending or receiving e-mails containing classified information. The classified e-mails, contained in thousands of pages of electronic correspondence that the State Department has released, stood out because of the heavy markings blocking out sentences and, in some cases, entire messages. The State Department officials who redacted the material cited national security as the reason for blocking it from public view.
Casting about for a new excuse, Clinton then claimed that she hadn't trafficked in any materials that were classified at the time, only information that was retroactively deemed to be sensitive. Not only is her "at the time" explanation legally irrelevant (stay tuned), her spin was also false on the merits. Two Inspectors General flagged emails that contained highly classified information from the moment they were generated. There's an ongoing dispute over whether two of the emails in question warranted a "top secret" confidentiality ranking, but at least one more rose to the level "secret." These messages pertained to such sensitive subjects as the North Korean nuclear program, and the Iran nuclear talks. A Reuters investigation found dozens of Hillary emails that included data that was unambiguously classified at the time. The same report revealed that Mrs. Clinton and her top aides "routinely" flouted their clear-cut responsibilities on data security. Finally, the talking point the Clinton campaign has settled on is that she didn't exchange information that was marked classified at the time. Rather than linking to various experts explaining why this technicality is meaningless based on her national security obligations under the law, here is the document Hillary reviewed and signed, acknowledging her duty to properly handle all classified material -- marked and unmarked:
She knew the rules. She swore to follow them. And now she's pretending those rules didn't exist. Also, be sure to click through for a refresher on the specific, urgent warnings she ignored regarding malicious foreign hack attempts on State Department officials' private email accounts and unsecured mobile devices. I discussed these latest developments on Fox News' Outnumbered yesterday afternoon (via Right Sightings):
The FBI has escalated and expanded its criminal investigation into Clinton's email scheme; top officials at the bureau are reportedly exploring possible violations of the Espionage Act and potential obstruction of justice. The presidential candidate has also insisted that none of the 30,000-plus emails she and her lawyers unilaterally deleted without any oversight -- none of which are included in the 'official' tally referenced above -- were related to her work as America's top diplomat. Not one. All of those permanently erased (or perhaps not) messages were totally personal in nature, she says. We know this to be untrue as well, several times over. I'll leave you with this: