CBS News Reports Aide Refused Hillary Clinton Demand to Send Classified Info to Her Home Brew Server
The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley reported on the State Department’s latest release of emails from the private home brew server used exclusively by former Obama secretary of state Hillary Clinton during her four-year tenure from 2009-2013.
Included in the CBS report by Nancy Cordes was an email exchange via the home brew server between Clinton and her Deputy Chief of Staff Jacob Sullivan, a loyalist who now works for Clinton’s presidential campaign, in which Clinton demands Sullivan email a statement housed on the State Department’s classified email system with the apparent subject matter of then Secretary General of the Organization of American States Jose Miguel Insulza. Clinton’s email has a date stamp of 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, February 10, 2010.
Sullivan refused, saying he could not access the statement on the classified system and would have to wait until it was declassified.
“Cordes points to one exchange in which Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan tells Clinton he can’t forward her a document she wants because it’s “on the classified system.”
“Clinton writes back, “It’s a public statement! Just email it.”
“Sullivan responds, “Trust me, I share your exasperation. But until ops converts it to the unclassified email system, there is no physical way for me to email it. I can’t even access it.””
Email image via the Daily Caller.
Shannen W. Coffin, a former George W. Bush administration attorney, wrote at the National Review on Tuesday that Clinton’s direct exchanges via her home brew server with Tony Blair while he was a special envoy for the Middle East Quartet Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations were automatically deemed classified by an executive order issued in 2009 by President Barack Obama declaring information received from foreign government officials was considered classified.
Coffin noted that the emails were redacted for public release by the State Department with markings noting that much of the information in the emails from Blair to Clinton were deemed classified at the moment they were received by Clinton on her home brew server regardless of whether they carried classification notices.
“Blair e-mailed Clinton again the next day, copying Sullivan, Clinton’s aide, apparently on a private e-mail account of his own. The entirety of that e-mail has been redacted from public disclosure as part of the FOIA release. Why? Because it has now been acknowledged as classified information and formally marked “Confidential” by State Department reviewers. The markings that accompany the redactions (which took place just this week as part of the release) explain that the redacted portion is classified under parts 1.4(B) and 1.4(D) of President Obama’s Executive Order 13526. Thus, it falls within the categories of information classified as “foreign government information” — 1.4(B) — and information relating to “foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources” — 1.4(D).
“Those markings are relevant because they blow up the Clinton campaign’s insistence that Mrs. Clinton and her colleagues did not know that the information at issue was classified at the time. Clinton is, of course, correct that the e-mails were not formally marked classified at the time they were exchanged, but that is only the result of a failure by Mrs. Clinton and her staff to mark them and handle them through the proper channels used for such foreign communications. The information contained in the e-mails was plainly classified at the time they were sent and received — by order of the president.
“Executive Order 13526, issued by President Obama at the beginning of his term, addresses the classification and handling of national-security information. It provides that “foreign government information” — which includes “information provided to the United States Government by a foreign government or governments, an international organization of governments, or any element thereof, with the expectation that the information, the source of the information, or both, are to be held in confidence” — must be treated as classified. The president made a determination in the Executive Order that disclosure of these confidential foreign communications “is presumed to cause damage to the national security.”
“Since a reasonable expectation of harm to the national security is the threshold for whether to classify information, the president’s determination necessarily establishes the classification of any foreign communications provided to the U.S. with the expectation of confidence. The Executive Order leaves no doubt on this point, when it directs that an agency “shall safeguard foreign government information under standards that provide a degree of protection at least equivalent to that required by the government or international organization of governments that furnished the information.”
Sean Davis writing at The Federalist reported that several emails initiated by Clinton were later redacted by the State Department with notations that the information in the emails was deemed to have been classified on the day Clinton sent the emails.
As The Gateway Pundit has reported, Clinton was trained in 2009 in the handling and protection of classified information by the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Also, Clinton was one of a select few high ranking government officials granted authority by Obama to exercise “Original Classification Authority” to classify national security information on sight.