Grassley: Clinton's Attorney Doesn't Have Proper Security Clearance to Handle Her Top Secret Emails

Posted: Aug 17, 2015 4:15 PM

By now you know former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had not one, not two, but hundreds of emails containing classified information passing through her unsecure, personal email server. Since the revelations of Clinton's use of a personal server came to light earlier this year, her attorney David Kendall and the law firm he works for have often been consulted by Congress to produce requested email documentation. In fact, Kendall has been in charge of a number of thumb drives containing Clinton's emails, some of which are classified as top secret. 

Now that we know Clinton had hundreds of classified documents on her server, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley is pointing out Kendall, and the attorneys he works with on Clinton's behalf, don't have the proper high level security clearance needed to handle top secret, classified information. 

"Recent news reports indicate that as Secretary Clinton’s attorney you had a security clearance that was used to possess her official emails. In fact, according to a Washington Post report, the Department of State allegedly instructed you on “appropriate measures for physically securing” her classified emails.[1] However, since that report, the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) notified the Judiciary Committee that at least two emails on Secretary Clinton’s server were – and are – classified at the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) level. Importantly, according to the IC IG and Department of State Inspector General, the emails were classified at that level when created," Grassley wrote in a letter to Kendall Monday (bolding is mine). "In light of that particular classification, which generally requires advanced protocols such as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) and other similar arrangements to possess and view, it appears the FBI has determined that your clearance is not sufficient to allow you to maintain custody of the emails. Consistent with that determination, the FBI is now in custody of not only the thumb drives previously in your possession that allegedly contain all of Secretary Clinton’s emails, but also Secretary Clinton’s personal server that was used to maintain the top secret emails outside of a government facility."

"Further reporting indicates that Secretary Clinton may have provided you copies of her emails in December 2014 and that government officials realized that the emails contained classified information in May 2015 yet the Department of State did not deliver a safe to store the thumb drives until July 2015.[3] Thus, since at least May 2015 and possibly December 2014, it appears that in addition to not having an adequate security clearance, you did not have the appropriate tools in place to secure the thumb drives. Even with the safe, there are questions as to whether it was an adequate mechanism to secure TS/SCI material.[4] Given the importance of securing and protecting classified information, especially TS/SCI material, it is imperative to confirm when, how, and why you, and any of your associates, received a security clearance in connection with your representation of Ms. Clinton and whether it was active while you had custody of Secretary Clinton’s emails," Grassley continued.

Because Clinton's possession of classified information on her personal server has prompted a criminal FBI investigation, Grassley also asked Kendall whether the former Secretary's security clearance has been suspended until the inquiry is over. 

Meanwhile, we learned over the weekend that the same prosecutor who built a case against General David Petraeus for improper handling of classified information, is looking at the Clinton case.