When yesterday's bombshell revelation detonated over Hillary Clinton's head, I urged the mainstream media to resist the temptation to run with wall-to-wall 'Palin endorses Trump' coverage and pay real heed to this extremely serious email scandal development. The crux of my argument:
This bombshell doesn't come via anonymous sources. It comes from a memo sent by intel community IG to Congress: https://t.co/C1p5hQYC6y— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 19, 2016
Unlike a number of previous Fox News scoops regarding this ongoing and expanded federal investigation, these new developments do not rely on Catherine Herridge's robust network of intelligence sources, who often remain unnamed. No, this scoop is based on a memo provided to several relevant Congressional committees by the nonpartisan intelligence community Inspector General. It points to the fact, based on an extensive review, that Hillary Clinton's rules-violating, vulnerable private email server held information so sensitive that they merited a classification level above 'top secret.' Clinton has cycled through a litany of debunked excuses regarding her mishandling of such material, from falsely claiming that her server contained no classified material at all, to wrongly asserting that she herself never sent or received anything that was classified at the time. She and her campaign hotly disputed a previous IG conclusion that 'top secret' data resided on her server, to no avail. The newly-disclosed memo proves that she also severely compromised some of the most closely-guarded national security secrets within the realm of the US government by housing them on her unprotected, not-allowed bootleg server -- conduct that many believe clearly amounts to "gross negligence" under the federal Espionage Act. Importantly, this story has not been contained to Fox News or conservative online outlets; it's spreading far and wide, with NBC News following-up on Herridge's exclusive with reporting of their own. What they found looks even worse for Mrs. Clinton:
Check out this detail from NBC's story:
Two American intelligence officials tell NBC News these are not the same two emails from Clinton's server that have long been reported as containing information deemed Top Secret...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. Clinton's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 'SAP' intelligence on her server was so secret that the man whose job it is to oversee America's intelligence community had to be granted special permission to review a sworn declaration summary about its contents. As Fox's report noted yesterday, it is inconceivable that Hillary Clinton -- who signed a binding nondisclosure agreement acknowledging her duty to protect classified material, both marked and unmarked -- would not have instantly recognized the information in question as extraordinarily sensitive. Former CIA Director David Petraeus signed the same form; he was prosecuted and punished for a limited, discrete leak of SAP intelligence to his mistress. Hillary recklessly placed an unknown quantity of top secret and SAP intelligence on a private email server with breathtakingly weak security, the very existence of which violated "clear cut" rules. She conducted all of her official business through that server, which at one point was entirely unencrypted for a span of several months. Worse, she continued to do so after she received a specific and urgent warning from a top State Department security official that foreign entities were attempting to penetrate US secrets by targeting officials'...private email accounts. The Clinton campaign is madly spinning this week's news, returning to the tired trope of fulminating against a vast right-wing conspiracy. Pathetic:
.@brianefallon says Clinton emails werent classified when sent or received accuses Intel IG of working w/ GOP to leak selectively— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) January 20, 2016
By definition, SAP intelligence was and is highly classified; it was "born classified." And it seems this alleged "conspiracy" includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US intelligence community, and several independent Obama administration watchdogs -- including the State Department's Inspector General:
Two years before the public learned of Hillary Clinton’s private server, the State Department gave an “inaccurate and incomplete” response about her email use when it told an outside group that it had no documents about Clinton’s email accounts beyond her government address, according to a report from the State Department’s inspector general to be released Thursday. The State Department made its statement in response to a 2012 records request from the independent watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). The response came even though Clinton’s chief of staff, who knew about the secretary’s private account, was aware of the inquiry, the report says. In addition, the IG review found that agency staffers had not searched Clinton’s office for emails. The incident was one of four cases that the report highlights as examples of flawed responses to public-records requests made while Clinton was in office.
These violations are very serious, and the attempted cover-up -- including the unilateral destruction of more than 30,000 emails, some of which have since been proven to be work-related -- is failing. Will the responsible party ever be held accountable? I'll leave you with no comment from the State Department: