Fox News Chief Intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reported Thursday night that more people may have viewed classified information on emails sent to Hillary Clinton’s private server than previously thought, some of which reportedly had a level of classification above “top secret.”
Herridge appeared on the Kelly File with host Megyn Kelly to discuss the latest on the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server to see if the Democratic presidential frontrunner mishandled classified information while serving as secretary of state.
“Fox News is learning tonight there may be more spillage of classified information,” Herridge said. “A letter to Congress says several dozen classified emails were identified, but that number only reflects the main or root emails, not the number of times that classified email was forwarded, replied to, or copied to other people who did not have a need to know.”
Herridge reported on Tuesday that the Inspector General (IG) for the Intelligence Community identified “several dozen” classified emails on Clinton’s private server in her home beyond the two “top secret” ones already announced. Some of these emails contained intelligence known as “special access programs (SAP),” which is highly sensitive information that a select few people in government can view.
This information is considered so secret that the Inspector General had to obtain a higher security clearance to view the emails in question, and senior lawmakers with oversight of the State Department are not authorized to view them without fulfilling the necessary requirements to get a higher clearance.
Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon has accused Republican lawmakers of coordinating with the IG, who was appointed to his position by President Obama, to attack Clinton as she seeks the presidency.
Clinton herself has downplayed the merits and significance of the reports as she gears up for the Iowa caucus on Feb. 1. She has maintained that the only email containing SAP intelligence is one forwarded document about a drones program that was published in the New York Times.
Herridge said that her “understanding is that [the drone program document] is one little sliver of the pie. The larger pie, if you will, is much more egregious violations involving the SAP, or special access program information.”
She explained that even if the SAP intelligence was in the public domain like the drones program, security clearance holders cannot discuss it, “especially in unclassified channels like a personal email account,” according to experts.
The State Department is supposed to release the next batch of Clinton emails three days before the Iowa caucus, although a spokesman for the department said they may miss that date.
The FBI has been investigating Clinton’s email server since at least August, and could recommend to the Justice Department that it file criminal charges against the former secretary of state for mishandling classified information.