Clinton Doesn't Remember Signing NDA About Handling of Classified Material

June 8, 2016

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she couldn't remember signing a non-disclosure agreement as secretary of state that laid out criminal penalties for mishandling classified information.

In an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier the day after she declared victory in the Democratic primary race, Clinton insisted yet again she never sent nor received any material over her private, unsecured email server that was marked classified.

"Secretary Clinton, you said you sent or received nothing that was marked classified, but you did sign a non-disclosure agreement, an NDA, in 2009 that said markings don't matter, whether it's marked or unmarked. You remember signing that?"  Baier asked.

"No, I do not, but the fact is nothing that I sent or received was marked classified and nothing has been demonstrated to contradict that," Clinton said. "What you are seeing acted out is the desire of different parts of the government to retroactively classify material so that it is not made public, since I did ask that all my emails be made public, and this is not an uncommon process."

As Baier pointed out, Clinton's NDA she signed upon joining the State Department rendered that talking point moot. She wrote more than 100 emails on the server the government now says are classified.

The Washington Free Beacon reported in November on Clinton's 2009 NDA signing that said there were criminal penalties for "any unauthorized disclosure" of classified material:

As the nation’s chief diplomat, Hillary Clinton was responsible for ascertaining whether information in her possession was classified and acknowledged that "negligent handling" of that information could jeopardize national security, according to a copy of an agreement she signed upon taking the job.

A day after assuming office as secretary of state, Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement that laid out criminal penalties for "any unauthorized disclosure" of classified information.

Experts have guessed that Clinton signed such an agreement, but a copy of her specific contract, obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute through an open records request and shared with the Washington Free Beacon, reveals for the first time the exact language of the NDA.

"I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of SCI by me could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation," the agreement states.