Clinton Aides Retained Access to Top-Secret Docs After She Declared Presidential Bid

• March 31, 2017 3:07 pm


Hillary Clinton retained access to classified and top-secret documents for herself and six staffers years after resigning as secretary of state in 2013, according to a senior Republican senator.

Clinton and her former State Department aides even maintained access after the former Democratic nominee announced her presidential bid in April 2015, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) wrote in a letter sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday.

The six former State staffers were able to retain their clearances after leaving the department because they were ostensibly working on a memoir of the failed presidential nominee and had been designated as Clinton's "research assistants."

Grassley cited FBI Director James Comey's conclusion in July that Clinton and her aides had been "extremely careless" in the handling of classified information on a private email server.

"Any other government workers who engaged in such serious offenses would, at a minimum, have their clearances suspended pending an investigation," he wrote. "The failure to do so has given the public the impression that Secretary Clinton and her associates received special treatment."

Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he repeatedly pressed the Obama administration to confirm whether Clinton and her aides had their clearances suspended or revoked after leaving the department, but he only recently received a response from the State Department under Trump.

It remains unclear whether top Clinton aides, including former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, still have access to classified and top secret information.

Though Comey ultimately decided against recommending criminal prosecution against Clinton, the individuals who engage in similar activity are subject to security or administrative sanctions. Grassley demanded the State Department clarify the "steps" it has taken to impose such administrative sanctions against Clinton and her aides.

Grassley also asked Tillerson to relay whether the department had opened a security review into Clinton and her staffers or revoked any of their clearances.

Grassley has given Tillerson until April 13 to respond.