The State Department is referring 305 of Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails to the intelligence community to review for classified information, the federal government reported in a court filing on Monday.
“Out of a sample of approximately 20% of the Clinton emails, the [Intelligence Community] reviewers have only recommended 305 documents — approximately 5.1% — for referral to their agencies for consultation,” State Department attorneys told U.S. District Court judge Emmet Sullivan, according to The Washington Times.
The State Department has reviewed about 6,000 of the approximately 30,000 emails Clinton handed over in December. If reviewers continue to find emails with secret information at the current rate, more than 1,500 of Clinton’s emails could potentially contain highly classified material.
The government’s revelation comes after the Intelligence Community inspector general, I. Charles McCullough, told Congress earlier this month that his agency had determined that two emails that traversed Clinton’s private email server contained information that was “top secret” — the highest classification level.
That finding prompted the FBI to intervene and gain control of the private email server Clinton used to maintain her personal email account during her tenure at State. The agency also commandeered thumb drives containing copies of Clinton’s emails that her attorney, David Kendall, had stored in a safe in his office.
The State Department has already redacted and released 60 Clinton emails which contain information that is classified as “confidential” — the lowest category. The agency insists that the information was not classified at the time it was sent and stored on Clinton’s server.
Some of those emails were sent by Clinton herself, including one she sent in Nov. 2009 to her longtime friend, Sidney Blumenthal, about former U.S. ambassador Joe Wilson. (RELATED: Some Clinton Emails Have Been Retroactively Classified, Including A Business Pitch From Joe Wilson)
Clinton has downplayed the entire email controversy as a right-wing conspiracy. At a campaign event in Iowa on Friday, she said she “won’t get down in the mud” with Republicans. But she has also walked back some of her most adamant claims about her handling of classified material.
In March, she said at a press conference that “there was no classified material” on her server. But as the investigation has progressed, she’s changed her tune. Last month she said: “I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received.”
After the McCullough’s finding of “top secret” information was revealed, Clinton and her team have turned to claiming that none of the emails were “marked” classified at the time they were sent or received.
Clinton has also attempted to portray herself as a willing participant in the email inquiry.
In a radio interview conducted over the weekend, she claimed that if it wasn’t for her, the emails never would have been made public.
“Because if I had not asked for my emails all to be made public, none of this would have been in the public arena,” she said.
The Republican operative group America’s Rising called that claim false, pointing out that Clinton handed over her emails only after the State Department sought them in response to the congressional investigation into the Benghazi attacks. Clinton had been out of office nearly two years when she finally provided the emails. The off-the-books email operation was only made public in a New York Times article in March. Clinton had also said that she would not turn over her private email server to a third-party. The hardware has also been scrubbed, her attorney has said.