As Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign insists that the former secretary of state never sent or received classified information via her personal email, a State Department official supposes that a member of Clinton’s "inner circle" likely cleared emails of any classification markings.
An anonymous official at the State Department told Fox News that intelligence community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III confirmed that at least one of the seven Clinton emails he deemed classified contained information that could have only come from the intelligence community.
Recent Stories in Politics
The message reportedly contained satellite images and signals intelligence.
"If so, they would have had to come in with all the appropriate classification markings," the official explained, suggesting that the message’s classification marking was disabled.
"[S]omewhere between the point they came into the building and the time they reached HRC’s server, someone would have had to strip the classification markings from that information before it was transmitted to HRC’s personal email," the official continued.
Such an action, the State Department official emphasized, would "constitute a felony, in and of itself."
"I can’t imagine that a rank-and-file career DOS employee would have done this, so it was most likely done by someone in her inner circle," the individual supposed.
On Tuesday, Clinton confirmed that she would deliver her email server to the Department of Justice as the FBI moves forward with its criminal probe into the security of the private system she used exclusively while secretary of state.
Clinton attorney David Kendall has also been forced to hand over the three computer thumb drives that contain all of the approximately 30,000 work-related emails from Clinton’s time working in the Obama administration.
Also Tuesday, reports emerged that McCullough determined that two of the 40 emails held on Clinton’s private system that he was permitted to review contained "top secret" information. In sum, he concluded that seven emails from the sample contained classified information at the time they were sent.
Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri wrote in a Medium post Wednesday that Clinton never used her personal system to send or receive classified material and that there exists "no criminal inquiry" into the former secretary of state’s email.
"Hillary only used her personal account for unclassified email," Palmieri alleged. "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."
So too has the State Department denied that any of Clinton’s emails were marked classified at the time they were sent or received.
"None of them were classified at the time," said State Department spokesman Mark Toner.
If found to have knowingly sent, stored or received classified information in a location unauthorized by the government, Clinton could face prosecution.