BY: Follow @lachlan
Hillary Clinton’s private email server contained now-classified information about high-level State Department meetings with leaders of more than a dozen countries, emails released last week show.
The new batch of emails show Clinton and top aides from her tenure as Secretary of State sharing details about those meetings that the State Department now says contain classified information about foreign governments, U.S. national security, intelligence sources, and financial secrets.
The emails were sent to or from Clinton’s personal email server, a non-secure computer network set up in her Chappaqua, N.Y., home. The FBI is currently probing the legality of the system.
On Friday the Department of State released the latest batch of emails to or from Clinton’s account in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act for messages to or from her personal email address—the only address Clinton used as secretary of state.
In one email, a top official in the State Department’s East Asia bureau briefed two of Clinton’s senior staff members on bilateral meetings during the 2012 East Asia Summit in Cambodia.
The email includes details on meetings with high-ranking officials from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. The contents of the discussions are redacted pursuant to the FOIA exemption for classified information.
Jake Sullivan, an aide to Clinton, forwarded that message. “Useful info,” Clinton responded. The rest of her reply is now classified.
Clinton has stated repeatedly that she did not send or receive information that was marked classified at the time. However, the non-disclosure agreement she signed after taking office stated that criminal penalties for the mishandling of classified information applied to “marked or unmarked classified information.”
Numerous Clinton emails contain information that was “born classified,” such as details of U.S. foreign policy known as “operational intelligence.” That information is so sensitive that any senior government official would recognize it as classified regardless of markings, experts say.
The Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment on classified information in the latest batch of emails.
It is not clear how sensitive the information in those emails is. However, redaction codes specifying exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act list three specific exemptions in emails regarding communications with foreign diplomats.
Those exemptions pertain to “foreign government information,” “foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources,” and “scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security,” according to the National Archives and Records Administration.
Those exemptions are sprinkled throughout other emails released last week pertaining to communications with foreign diplomats and other government officials.
Additional emails include classified information on State Department discussions with David Cameron, the British prime minister, an Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official, and on a departmental delegation to Sudan.
A July 2010 memo apparently sent to Clinton’s personal email address contained now-classified details about a meeting between Henry Kissinger and a handful of high-ranking Chinese officials.
The contents of the four-page memo are entirely redacted pursuant to exemptions for classified information, with the exception of one line at the end, which notes, “The meeting lasted for 90 minutes.”