Previous State Department releases of Hillary Clinton emails have contained messages from her longtime friend and intelligence-provider, Sidney Blumenthal, that have been deemed to contain some classified information. But none of the records were completely classified, as is the case with four emails Blumenthal emails released by the State Department on Friday.
Blumenthal, a former Bill Clinton White House aide, was infamously blocked from taking a job at the State Department under Clinton because of his anti-Obama campaigning in the 2008 Democratic primaries. Instead, he got a job at the Clinton Foundation and frequently sent his friend Hillary intelligence reports with information gleaned from his vast network of sources in working for foreign governments and in the private intelligence business.
The State Department has already released dozens of Blumenthal emails that contained highly sensitive information. But all of those emails had at least some portions that were viewable. That is not the case with four records released on Friday.
On June 23, 2009, Blumenthal sent an email to Clinton with the subject line “N. Ireland/Shaun,” an apparent reference to Shaun Woodward, who then served as the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
The email is redacted in full, save for the names “Hillary” and “Sid.” The emails are classified as confidential and redacted in full because they contain foreign government information and information related to foreign relations and foreign activities.
A June 20, 2011, email entitled “memo hrc Bahrain/Iran” is also classified as confidential and redacted in full because it contains information related to foreign activities.
Likewise with a June 28, 2012, email with the subject line “some intel on internal german/euro maneuvering.”
Another email from Blumenthal to Clinton, sent Aug. 3, 2012, is nearly completely redacted save for statement that the email contained information from “sources with access to the highest levels of the Governments and institutions.”
All of the classified Blumenthal emails — those released Friday and in previously document dumps — are included in the category of records that the State Department has retroactively classified. The agency has said that the information was not classified when it was originated, an argument that many outside observers have disputed.
The State Department did announce on Friday, however, that it will withhold in full 22 emails that contain “top secret” information. The agency also acknowledged that the information was classified at the time the emails were created. The agency gave no indication one way or the other if any of those emails came from Blumenthal.
Clinton has defended the presence of classified information in her emails — which were contained on her private email server — by claiming that the records were not “marked” classified when she sent or received them.
However, Clinton did sign a nondisclosure agreement when she took office in Jan. 2009 acknowledging that classified information is classified regardless of if it is marked or unmarked as such. (RELATED: Document Completely Undermines Hillary’s Classified Email Defense)