On the same day that the "hacktivist" group WikiLeaks posted tens of thousands of classified State Department communications online, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a top deputy to send now-classified information to her personal email address, newly released emails reveal.
"Here’s my personal email," Clinton told former Sen. George Mitchell, then Clinton’s special envoy for Middle East peace. "Pls use this for reply."
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Mitchell responded with details of discussions with Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini. Most of the contents of the email, released by the State Department on Monday night, are redacted pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act exemption designed to protect classified national security information.
Another Mitchell email in response to Clinton’s request discussed conversations with Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos. Contents of that email are also redacted, citing the same FOIA exemption.
The exchanges took place on July 25, 2010, the same day that WikiLeaks posted roughly 92,000 classified State Department cables stolen by then-Army private Bradley Manning on its website.
Clinton’s department treated the leak very seriously, additional communications released on Monday reveal. In a November 2010 letter, State legal adviser Harold Koh told an attorney representing WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange that his group’s release of classified information "place at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals."
Mitchell’s emails to Clinton were among more than 100 emails released on Monday sent to or from Clinton’s personal email address that contained classified information.
Clinton and her supporters claim she never handled information on her personal email account that was classified at the time it was sent or received, a claim that the inspector general of the intelligence community has contradicted.
Her critics have seized on her handling of classified information to demonstrate her supposed disregard for information security and laws governing classified government communications.
"On hundreds of occasions, Hillary Clinton’s reckless attempt to skirt transparency laws put sensitive information and our national security at risk," Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said in a Monday statement on the emails’ release.
"With the FBI continuing to investigate, Hillary Clinton’s growing email scandal shows she cannot be trusted with the White House," Priebus said.