Politics & Policy

FBI Recovers Clinton E-mails Thought to Have Been ‘Wiped’ from Server

FBI investigators examining Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server for possible criminal violations of federal classification law have discovered e-mails thought to have been permanently erased by Clinton last year.

The Clinton campaign has long contended that all e-mails she didn’t turn over to the State Department last year were deleted from her server. Many speculated the e-mails were irreversibly “wiped” from the drive, though neither Clinton nor her team would confirm that speculation. An anonymous law enforcement source first told Bloomberg News about the e-mail recovery.

Clinton turned over about half of the 60,000 e-mails she sent through the server during her four-year stint as Secretary of State, withholding and subsequently deleting the rest, which she claimed were personal in nature. When Clinton confidante Sid Blumenthal was subpoenaed by the House Select Committee on Benghazi earlier this year, he turned over more than a dozen e-mails advising the secretary of state on Libya. These e-mails were not included among those Clinton turned over to the State Department, and were presumably deleted from the server. House Republicans have argued that these messages constitute work-related e-mails, and worry Clinton may have withheld additional messages from the government.

#related#Now that at least some of the deleted e-mails have been recovered, investigators can determine whether other messages Clinton withheld as private actually pertained to official business. The FBI will also review the recovered e-mails for sensitive or classified material, just as they’ve done with the messages Clinton initially turned over. A small review of Clinton e-mails undertaken by inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence community found several containing “Top Secret” information that was classified at the time of its transmission. A CIA review made the same determination.

The State Department and the Clinton campaign have disputed those assertions, claiming the information in question should not be classified “Top Secret” and that any classification of sensitive material occurred after the fact.

— Brendan Bordelon is a political reporter for National Review.

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