Following a second review of Hillary Clinton’s emails, officials confirmed on Tuesday that two emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton received as secretary of state on her personal account — including one about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program — has endorsed a finding by the inspector general for the intelligence agencies that the emails contained highly classified information when Mrs. Clinton received them, senior intelligence officials said.
Clinton campaign officials along with the State Department disputed the isnpector generals’ report last month and questioned whether the emails were “overclassified” by an arbitrary process. The special review by the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency ruled that the emails were deemed “Top Secret,” the highest classification of government intelligence when Mrs. Clinton received them in 2009 and 2011. Voter concerns about Clinton’s server are gradually eroding support for her 2016 presidential campaign across multiple national polls. Clinton vowed on Monday that she would not apologize for using the server.
The State Department has disputed that classification. “Classification is rarely a black and white question, and it is common for the State Department to engage internally and with our interagency partners to arrive at the appropriate decision…” spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
At this time, any conclusion about the classification of the documents in question would be premature.” The former first lady additionally pushed back against charges that the controversy is hurting her 2016 presidential campaign. “I have worked really hard this summer, sticking to my game plan about how I wanted to sort of reintroduce myself to the American people.”
President Obama signed an executive order in December 2009 that defined “Top Secret” as information that if disclosed could “reasonably” be expected to cause “exceptionally grave damage to national security.” In the months after the disclosure, Mrs. Clinton and her campaign were unequivocal in their stance that there was no classified information on it. But after it was revealed in August that the F.B.I. was investigating how classified materials were handled in connection with the account, Mrs. Clinton’s aides began saying that she never sent or received anything that was classified at the time. An earlier review by the inspector general drew a similar conclusion earlier this year.
Mrs. Clinton has said that her emails contained no information that was marked classified — having classified information outside a secure government account is illegal — and that she is fully cooperating with an F.B.I. investigation to determine who at the State Department may have passed highly classified information from secure networks to her personal account. She herself is not a target of the investigation.