Politics

Latest Clinton Document Release Includes 155 Now-Classified Emails

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Among the 6,300 pages of Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department on Wednesday are approximately 155 messages containing now-classified information that the former secretary of state sent or received on her unsecured, private email server system.

That raises the overall number of emails that contain information deemed to contain classified information to 343. The 155 figure is based on a preliminary analysis of the release.

The emails, most of which were classified as “confidential,” were sent in 2010 and 2011. Two records included in the release contain information that is now marked as “secret,” the second-highest classification category. One was an email Clinton aide Jake Sullivan sent to her on Jan. 21, 2011 regarding diplomatic talks in Turkey.

The State Department has asserted following previous Clinton email releases that information in the emails was not classified at the time the records were sent. But many observers have pushed back against the claim because many of the messages appear to discuss topics that were time- and event-specific.

Many of the emails contained information provided by foreign government officials. Executive orders have determined that such information should be “presumed” to be classified when originated.

Clinton herself has maintained that she did not send or receive emails containing information that was classified when sent. The Intelligence Community’s inspector general has disputed that claim, however, saying that it reviewed at least two emails that traversed Clinton’s server which contained information that was “top secret” at the time they were sent.

Wednesday’s release marks the fifth mass publication of Clinton emails. The first release, which occurred in May, was of nearly 300 pages of Clinton emails related to Libya and Benghazi. The other four releases were ordered by U.S. District Court judge Rudolph Contreras who is presiding over a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Vice News reporter Jason Leopold.

According to the State Department, 37 percent of Clinton’s emails have now been released, putting the agency ahead of a timeline set by Contreras.

Clinton turned over approximately 55,000 pages of her work-related emails to the State Department in December, nearly two years after leaving the agency.

Clinton herself sent a number of those now-classified emails. Wednesday’s release shows that Clinton sent at least two emails that contain sensitive information.

One was sent on March 6, 2010 and discussed Indonesia. The other was sent on March 4, 2010 and discussed Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister.

The first four releases contained at least eight emails containing information now deemed classified.

The topics of those heavily-redacted emails included discussions about Iran, Egypt, and Futenma Marine Corps base in Japan.

One of the more mysterious now-classified emails Clinton sent was to her longtime friend and ally, Sidney Blumenthal.

On Nov. 10, 2009 Blumenthal forwarded an email from Joe Wilson, who served as an ambassador during the Bill Clinton administration. In the email, Wilson pitched Clinton on an African energy company for which he was consulting. Clinton’s response to Blumenthal is redacted and has been classified as “confidential.” (RELATED: New Clinton Emails Contain Now-Classified Emails)

Blumenthal himself has been a central figure in the email scandal. He sent Clinton dozens of intelligence reports on her personal email address. Clinton initially claimed that Blumenthal’s emails were “unsolicited.” But Clinton’s responses to her friend indicated that that was not the case. Clinton often encouraged Blumenthal to keep her posted on geopolitical developments.

Clinton was caught in another inconsistency regarding Blumenthal. Though she has claimed that she turned over all of her work-related emails, Blumenthal provided the House Select Committee on Benghazi with at least 15 emails that he exchanged with Clinton which were not included in the trove she gave to the State Department. That gap raised questions over whether Clinton or the State Department failed to turn over the emails. (RELATED: Some Of Hillary Clinton’s Libya Emails Weren’t Turned Over To The Benghazi Committee)

Last week, the State Department said it recently handed over an additional 900 Benghazi-related emails it has had since December.

It was also reported last week that Clinton failed to turn over an email exchange she had shortly after becoming secretary of state in early 2009 with then-CENTCOM Commander Gen. David Petraeus. Clinton has said that at that time, she was using an email address she used while she was in the Senate. Months into her State Department tenure, Clinton began using an email address hosted on her private server.

This post has been updated. 

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