Top lawmakers are reportedly not authorized to review some emails held on Hillary Clinton’s personal server because the classified intelligence they contain is too sensitive.
This news follows a report that some of Clinton’s communications held intelligence from the government’s ultra-secret "special access programs," which is more sensitive than information classified as "top secret."
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Fox News, citing a source close to a recent intelligence review, reported that some lawmakers on key committees probing Clinton’s emails do not have authorization to view intelligence from special access programs and thus cannot review messages that contain it. These include senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In order to review these messages, the lawmakers need to meet additional security requirements, such as signing non-disclosure agreements.
In a letter to senior lawmakers this month, the inspector general of the intelligence community revealed that the recent intelligence review had identified "several dozen" additional classified emails on Clinton’s personal server, some of which contained information from special access programs (SAP).
"To date, I have received two sworn declarations from one [intelligence community] element. These declarations cover several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the confidential, secret, and top secret/sap levels," I. Charles McCullough III wrote in the letter. "According to the declarant, these documents contain information derived from classified IC element sources."
Access to intelligence from special access programs is restricted to an absolute minimum to protect intelligence sources and methods.
Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate, responded to the findings in an interview with NPR, insisting that the revelations in the letter changed nothing. Clinton has repeatedly claimed that she never sent nor received information marked classified on her personal email.
Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon also accused McCullough, who was nominated to his post by President Obama, of coordinating with Republicans to damage Clinton ahead of the 2016 election.