National Security

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chair: Clinton Emails Could Compromise National Security

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton / AP

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.) authored a letter to Hillary Clinton’s attorney this week alleging that the former secretary of state’s emails that contained classified information could result in "serious consequences to national security."

McClatchy reported that Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent the letter to attorney David Kendall to raise questions about the "lax storage" of Clinton’s communications from her personal email system on a computer thumb drive.

At least five of the 30,400 emails contained on the drive contain classified information from five separate U.S. intelligence agencies.

In the letter dated Wednesday, Johnson demanded that Kendall, a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm Williams and Connelly, detail what he has done to "safeguard the classified material in [his] possession."

The lax storage and safeguarding of this information could have serious consequences to national security," Johnson warned.

Moreover, Johnson requested that Kendall give him a list of each individual who has had access to the drive in addition to naming the drive’s manufacturer and the individuals working at Williams and Connelly who have clearance to gain access to classified material.

The drive contains the more than 30,000 work-related emails that Hillary Clinton turned over to the State Department after it was revealed that she exclusively used a personal email system to conduct her work as secretary of state. Clinton separated out the work-related emails from those she deemed personal, then deleted all of the personal communications.

Despite the concerns of the GOP lawmaker, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill insisted in a statement Thursday night, "The thumb drive is secure."

A spokesman for the State Department also alleged that the government agency had given Kendall "instructions regarding appropriate measures for physically securing the documents and confirmed via a physical security expert that they are taking those measures."

Of the five emails identified as "secret" by Inspector General I. Charles McCullough, one contained information regarding the 2012 Benghazi attacks and was improperly made public by the State Department in the first batch of 296 Clinton emails the government agency released in May.

The State Department is preparing to release another round of Clinton emails Friday.

Despite subpoena orders from the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Kendall has refused to provide the panel with the emails contained on Hillary Clinton’s private server, insisting that the former secretary of state permanently wiped the system clean.

Nevertheless, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) continues to demand that Clinton turn over the server immediately.