As I’ve been ranting for quite a while, the never-ending search for the smoking gun in Hillary’s e-mails keeps missing the huge smoking artillery piece lying out in plain sight: the server itself. It was if not an explicitly criminal act to create it, it was a criminal act to use it the way she did. All of the e-mails that have come to light simply demonstrate that fact. It also bears repeating that every single thing Hillary Clinton said in that initial press conference at the U.N. has been proven to be a lie several times over. One lie, however, still had a rice-paper-thin firewall. In that press conference Clinton said “there is no classified material.”
From that press conference:
QUESTION: Were you ever — were you ever specifically briefed on the security implications of using — using your own email server and using your personal address to email with the president?
CLINTON: I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.
So I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.
Note that she dodged the actual question of whether she was briefed on the security implications of her server. She also avoided saying whether she received any classified material. Regardless, we already know that she sent classified material. Her defense is that the material wasn’t designated classified at the time. That may or may not be true, but it misses the point. The whole point of the server was to hide her correspondence from the people who do the classifying. If I smuggle contraband into the country illegally, it’s no excuse to say “the material I smuggled was never labeled illegal contraband by government inspectors.” By hiding the material you avoid the problem of it being identified by the authorities. So again: The server is the smoking gun!
Still, there was always that nagging Clintonian “is” hanging out there. She said “There is no classified material.” Her husband is a legendary master at the creative use of that tiny word.
But we now know that the material was classified and was on the server when she said “there is no classified material.” And it wasn’t just classified. It was as classified as classified material can be. In fact, it was so classified, the Inspector General of the intelligence community had to get clearance just to look at the classified material on the server. From NBC:
Charles McCulllough, the intelligence community’s inspector general, said in a letter to the chairmen of the Senate intelligence and foreign affairs committees that he has received sworn declarations from an intelligence agency he declined to name.
The declarations cover “several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET and TOP SECRET/SAP information.”
An intelligence official familiar with the matter told NBC News that the special access program in question was so sensitive that McCullough and some of his aides had to receive clearance to be read in on it before viewing the sworn declaration about the Clinton emails.
Clinton’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.