State Dept.: Assessment Of ‘Top Secret’ Hillary Email ‘Was Not Correct’

(Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Hillary Clinton received a small victory on Monday when the State Department announced that the Intelligence Community’s office of the inspector general “was not correct” in its initial assessment that an email she received in 2009 contained “Top Secret” information.

The email in question — which Clinton received on July 3, 2009 and discusses North Korea’s nuclear program — will be re-classified as “Secret,” according to State Department spokesman John Kirby.

He said it will be published on the agency’s website Monday evening, along with 3,800 new pages of Clinton’s emails. The release marks the 14th and final production of Clinton’s emails in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Vice News’ Jason Leopold.

“The document does not contain ‘Top Secret’ information,” Kirby told reporters Monday. “At the request of the Intelligence Community a limited amount of information in this document has been provisionally upgraded to ‘Secret.'”

That means that “the original assessment was not correct,” he added.

The State Department and Clinton first disputed the email’s classification in July, when Intelligence Community inspector general I. Charles McCullough III informed the State Department of its assessment.

The Intelligence Community reaffirmed the classification in a second review conducted in September. But the issue came to a head in January when Brian Fallon, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, accused McCullough of coordinating with Republicans to hurt Clinton’s campaign by overclassifying emails and leaking information to the press.

Kirby made no mention of the second “Top Secret” email, indicating that its status will remain as is. He also said he was not sure if the re-classified email was one of 22 others that the State Department has acknowledged contain “Top Secret” information. The agency is still trying to figure out if the information in those emails was classified when originated.

Two other emails will be withheld in full from the State Department’s final production, Kirby said.

One of those is an email sent between Clinton and President Obama. The agency has already decided to withhold 18 other emails between the pair.

State will also withhold in full one one-page document at the request of an unnamed law enforcement agency. Kirby did not provide details on which agency requested the withholding and what the document discussed.

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