Sidney Blumenthal emailed Hillary Clinton at least two intelligence reports about Libya which were not included in the trove of 296 emails released by the State Department on Friday.
Clinton has claimed that in December she turned over all official government emails she sent or received from her personal account while in office. In turn, the agency has claimed it turned all Clinton emails related to Libya or Benghazi over to the House Select Committee investigating the Benghazi attack.
But a screenshot of Blumenthal’s email inbox, which the Romanian hacker Guccifer published in March 2013, shows two reports about Libya emailed to Clinton which were not released in Friday’s batch.
Blumenthal’s hacked inbox shows that he sent a Jan. 15, 2013, report under the subject line “H: Latest Libya intel; internal discussions” and another on Jan. 26 with the subject line “H: Libya security latest.”
The State Department release — which was published on the agency’s Freedom of Information Act portal — does not include those two reports. It does, however, include some 20 other intelligence reports Blumenthal sent Clinton about Libya and Benghazi between March 2, 2011. and Dec. 18, 2012.
The discrepancy suggests that the system that Clinton and the State Department have in place to account for her emails failed in some regard. It also raises questions over whether other emails are unaccounted for.
Clinton and her team made the unilateral determination about which emails counted as official government records. The State Department had no oversight in the process and likely will not in the future. Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, denied the Benghazi Committee’s request to inspect a private server Clinton used to maintain the personal email account. Kendall told the committee that the server has been wiped clean.
Blumenthal, a former journalist turned Clinton crony, routinely sent Clinton reports based on intelligence gathered from his own sources. Clinton’s emails show she regularly forwarded the reports to aides to have them circulated to other State Department officials or to print them off for later reading.
Blumenthal’s hacked inbox shows other intelligence reports sent to Clinton’s email account — [email protected] — but it is unclear from their titles if they contain material related to Benghazi or Libya.
It also remains to be seen whether those other reports are included in the 55,000 pages of emails Clinton turned over to State. The agency will likely turn those emails over sometime later this year.
The discrepancy has at least three possible explanations: Clinton purposely hid the two reports; she overlooked the emails and failed to turn them over; the State Department has the emails in the larger batch of records provided by Clinton but for some reason failed to turn the two in question over to the Benghazi Committee.
Clinton and her team reportedly used a four-step process to decide which emails to turn over to the State Department. The team searched all Clinton emails for the period between 2007 and 2013 to some 100 State Department and other federal officials. From there, the Clinton team reportedly searched for non-obvious and idiosyncratic terms. Finally, emails were searched for references to “Benghazi” and “Libya.”
Clinton has said she turned over about half of all emails from her personal account. She claimed the others were personal messages which she “chose not to keep.”