‘Top Secret’ Hillary Clinton Emails Contained Information About Drones

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton / AP
August 14, 2015

The two emails from Hillary Clinton’s private system identified as containing "top secret" information by the inspector general of the intelligence community hold information about drones.

The Associated Press reported that one message contains a conversation about an article regarding a CIA drone operation targeting terrorists in Pakistan and other locations while another could improperly refer to highly classified material.

According to anonymous U.S. officials from the intelligence community and other federal government agencies who have reviewed the email exchanges in question, Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III labeled the emails as containing "Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information" after consulting with the CIA.

Clinton allegedly did not send the classified information herself.

The first message in question, which documents a conversation regarding a published article about the U.S. drone program targeting terrorists, makes a reference to classified information.

AP reported:

A second email reviewed by Charles McCullough ... appears more suspect. Nothing in the message is "lifted" from classified documents, the officials said, though they differed on where the information in it was sourced. Some said it improperly points back to highly classified material, while others countered that it was a classic case of what the government calls "parallel reporting"—different people knowing the same thing through different means.

McCullough discovered the messages when reviewing a sample of 40 emails out of the 30,000 work-related messages held on Clinton’s private system. In sum, he concluded that seven emails--nearly one-fifth of the sample--contained classified information at the time they were sent.

Despite his requests, the State Department refused to give the intelligence community inspector general access to the entire batch of emails.

Clinton was forced to hand over her private server to the Justice Department this week as the FBI pursues its criminal probe into the security of the personal email system she used while working in the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, Clinton’s presidential campaign has maintained that "no information in her emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them."

A State Department official recently hypothesized that a member of Clinton’s "inner circle" likely cleared emails of any classification markings, an action that would constitute a felony.

If found to have knowingly sent, stored or received classified information in a location unauthorized by the government, the Democratic presidential candidate could face prosecution.