Hillary Clinton Campaign on Personal Email Controversy: It’s ‘Complicated’

Hillary Rodham Clinton
August 12, 2015

In the midst of her declining poll numbers, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is repeating the claim that the former secretary of state never used her personal email system to send or receive classified information.

Campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri crafted a Medium post Wednesday that warns the public against "misinformation" being dispersed regarding Clinton’s personal email system, alleging that there exists "no criminal inquiry" into Clinton’s email.

"Hillary only used her personal account for unclassified email," Palmieri writes. "No information in her emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them. She viewed classified materials in hard copy in her office or via other secure means while traveling, not on email."

The blog post comes in response to news that Clinton directed her staff to deliver her private email server to the Department of Justice as the FBI moves forward with its probe into the security of the email system she used while working in the Obama administration.

An FBI spokesman confirmed to Fox News that the investigation is, in fact, "criminal."

The intelligence community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III determined this week that two of the 40 emails held on Clinton’s private system that he was permitted to review contained "top secret" information.

Palmieri deemed the situation "complicated," insisting that "it’s common for information previously considered unclassified to be upgraded to classified before being publicly released."

"Some emails that weren’t secret at the time she sent or received them might be secret now," she continued. "And sometimes government agencies disagree about what should be classified, so it isn’t surprising that another agency might want to conduct its own review, even though the State Department has repeatedly confirmed that Hillary’s emails contained no classified information at the time she sent or received them."

McCullough concluded that, in sum, seven emails–nearly one-fifth of the sample he examined–contained classified information at the time they were sent. The State Department has refused him access to the entire batch of Clinton’s 30,000 work-related emails despite requests.

In addition to her personal server, Hillary Clinton will also hand over thumb drives currently in possession of her attorney that contain all of her emails. According to an anonymous U.S. official, the FBI determined that attorney David Kendall could not continue to possess emails containing classified information.

Kendall had previously refused to provide Clinton’s emails to the House Select Committee on Benghazi despite subpoena orders, insisting that her personal server has been wiped clean of all communications from the email address she used while at State. He had also balked at the idea of a third-party review of her server.

In the post Wednesday, Palmieri accused the Benghazi committee of conducting a "partisan witch-hunt designed to do political damage to Hillary in the run-up to the election." Clinton is set to testify in October before the committee investigating the 2012 terror attack, refusing to testify twice, as was initially requested.

"We have the facts and our principles on our side. And we’re committed to getting the real story out there," Palmieri concludes.

Throughout her presidential campaign, Clinton has denied sending or receiving classified information on her personal email system, telling reporters just last month, "I am confident that I never sent or received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received."

She has made false claims to the press regarding orders she received to turn over emails. Clinton insisted during an interview with CNN that she was never personally subpoenaed, though she was indeed personally subpoenaed by the Benghazi committee to turn over emails to or from her personal email accounts.

In the wake of news that Clinton will turn over her email server, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) accused the Democratic presidential candidate of making "patently untrue" statements about her email system. He insisted that "her mishandling of classified information must be fully investigated."

Currently, a significant majority of Americans rate Hillary Clinton as not trustworthy.