WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton managed to retain access to classified and top secret documents for herself and six staffers after she announced her run for the presidency in April 2015.
The State Department recently told the Judiciary Committee that six of Clinton’s former aides were referred to as “research assistants,” which enabled their clearance to go with them after their official service at the department ended.
Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Thursday: “Any other government workers who engaged in such serious offenses would, at a minimum, have their clearances suspended pending an investigation. The failure to do so has given the public the impression that Secretary Clinton and her associates received special treatment.”
After completing the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s email server, Director James Comey said that “there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,” and that individuals who are careless with such material are “often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”
It is unknown whether Clinton, her staff, including former chief-of-staff Cheryl Mills, traveling chief of staff Huma Abedin, and senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan continue to have access to classified and top-secret material.
Grassley wrote in his letter to Tillerson, “However, Director Comey did not recommend criminal prosecution. In announcing that decision, he also noted that ‘[t]o be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.'”
Grassley added, “It is unclear what steps the State Department has taken to impose administrative sanctions.”
Grassley sent Tillerson a list of questions to answer including whether or not the State Department agrees with the FBI findings and if the State Department has revoked or suspended any of Clinton’s subordinates’ clearances.