TIME Election 2016

As Many as 305 Hillary Clinton Emails May Have Classified Data

The agency said the 305 emails with potential classified data were among more than 1,500 documents analyzed so far

(WASHINGTON) — The State Department review of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails so far has found as many as 305 messages that could contain classified information and require further scrutiny by federal agencies, the department said Monday.

In a court filing that was part of a lawsuit against the State Department, officials told a federal judge in Washington they would be able to meet an existing schedule to release copies of Clinton’s emails because only about 5 percent of the messages reviewed so far contain possible secret information that could hold them back for further analysis. The agency said those 305 emails with potential classified data were among more than 1,500 documents analyzed so far.

The filing came after Clinton said in an Iowa radio interview that during her stint as secretary of state in the Obama administration, she had never sent or received any emails on her private server that had information clearly marked classified. Republican critics have warned that Clinton may have compromised national security by sending and receiving messages that contained secret information, but she has sloughed off the criticism, saying she followed security guidelines and is the one who made the previously withheld emails available to the American public.

“If I had not asked for my emails all to be made public, none of this would have been in the public arena,” she said in the interview, recorded last Friday. But The Associated Press and other news organizations had sought copies of Clinton’s emails under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act for years.

The AP was first to identify Clinton’s private email server and trace it in March to her family’s home in New York. The server was surrendered to the FBI last week, months after Clinton said it was her personal property and wouldn’t be turned over.

Clinton said in March she had exchanged about 60,000 emails during her four years in the Obama administration, about half of which were personal and deleted. She turned over the others to the State Department, which is reviewing and releasing them on a monthly basis. Clinton campaign officials did not respond Monday to an emailed request for comment about the court filing about her correspondence.

The State Department has censored some of Clinton’s emails for national security reasons before they were publicly released. The government blacked-out all or parts of those messages under a provision of the Freedom of Information Act intended to protect material that had been deemed and properly classified for purposes of national defense or foreign policy.

Last month, the inspector general for the State Department warned that some of the information that passed through Clinton’s homebrew server was classified information produced by the U.S. intelligence community. It’s generally not possible to forward or cut-and-paste an email marked classified to a private account because classified email systems are closed to outsiders. But it can be illegal to paraphrase or retype classified information from a secure email into an unprotected message sent to a personal address.

The State Department acknowledgement that 305 Clinton emails were being reviewed for possible national security concerns came as part of legal sparring in a lawsuit against the agency by journalist Jason Leopold, a reporter with Vice News. In January, Leopold sued the agency to quickly produce Clinton emails and other documents that were sought under a freedom of information request dating back to 2014.

Leopold’s case is one of several pending against the State Department for Clinton records. The AP also sued the agency this year for failing to turn over copies of emails and other documents since mid-2013 and in one case, back to 2010. In both cases, U.S. district court judges have pressed the State Department to produce records on a firm schedule.

But Leopold’s lawyers have raised concerns that the intelligence review of Clinton’s emails has bogged down the schedule of release ordered previously by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras. Leopold’s lawyer said the department missed its July target by more than 1,000 pages of emails, in part because of screening by five intelligence agencies.

“It is likely that additional delay above and beyond that added by independent review” by five intelligence agencies “will result,” Leopold’s lawyers warned.

State Department lawyers said that despite the growing number of Clinton emails that will have to be forwarded to intelligence agencies for review, the government was confident that the low number — 5.1 percent of the total — would not slow down public release of the emails.

Separate from the court case, State Department spokesman John Kirby said 63 of Clinton’s emails that previously were unclassified have now been classified and censored — of the more than 3,000 emails released. The numbers of emails, Kirby stressed, represent a “small amount.” But it reflects “the care and the scrutiny with which we are scrutinizing this email traffic.”

Also Monday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said he has asked Clinton’s long-time lawyer, David Kendall, about whether he and other members of his law firm received national security clearances as part of their legal work for the former top diplomat.

Grassley wrote Kendall in an Aug. 14 letter that he was also concerned the lawyer kept thumb-drive copies of Clinton’s emails that were not properly secured.

___

Associated Press writer Bradley Klapper contributed to this report.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s Lawyer Readies for Email War

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Jae C. Hong—AP Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to a home care worker during a roundtable discussion on home care in Los Angeles on Aug. 6, 2015.

Longtime Hillary Clinton ally and lawyer David Kendall is a legal mastermind now entering a highly political arena

Born into a family of Quakers, David Kendall had a birthright claim to be a conscientious objector when the draft was instituted during the Vietnam War. But while he opposed the war, he couldn’t in good faith claim to be a pacifist, those who know him say. So as a student at Yale Law School at the time, he did two things instead: he dove into researching how the draft lottery worked, eventually co-writing a book on the subject, and he enlisted in ROTC, taking a commission as 2nd Lieutenant.

Kendall didn’t end up deploying overseas, but his experience with the draft is as good a place as any to begin understanding the man Hillary Clinton has turned to once again for legal help, this time defending her use of personal email as Secretary of State. Liberal, intellectual and relentlessly committed to the fight, the affable Kendall, who has known the Clintons since their time together at Yale and who defended Bill Clinton during his impeachment, is once again preparing to go to war, whether he has to or not.

Increasingly, it looks as if he will. This week, the Intelligence Community Inspector General told Congress that two of the emails that were stored on Clinton’s unclassified, private email server contain information that should have been classified at the highest level, Top Secret, because they were derived in part from secret overhead eavesdropping platforms like satellites or drones. The IG says there are hundreds of other emails containing classified information in the stash of 55,000 the State department is reviewing from Clinton’s server. Most threatening of all, the hard-headed investigators at the FBI are conducting an inquiry into how classified information made it into unclassified settings. This week, the FBI took possession of both Clinton’s server and thumb drives containing copies of the emails that Kendall had been holding for safekeeping.

For Clinton, the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, the developments are a thicket of political, bureaucratic and legal challenges that threaten to stall her campaign and further damage her trust with voters. For Kendall, the challenge is to deliver his expertise in a context where legal fallout is only half the battle.

In one sense, Clinton and Kendall are well matched. Both excelled at law school and they sought out each others’ advice early in their careers. Kendall called her when he needed a contact in Arkansas, where she worked as a young attorney while Bill Clinton pursued politics. And she called Kendall when she needed advice from D.C., where he had joined Washington’s premier litigation firm, Williams and Connolly, after clerking for Supreme Court Justice Byron White and specializing in death penalty appeals at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York.

It was when the Clintons arrived in Washington with the baggage of the Whitewater investigation that they really reconnected with Kendall, however, hiring him to defend them against accusations of improper business dealings. And when Clinton found himself needing to prepare for grand jury testimony in the Monica Lewinsky investigation four years later, it was Kendall who prepared him. “His job was to make sure there was never a criminal charge against the president,” says one member of Bill Clinton’s legal team, and “his preparation [of Clinton for the grand jury testimony] will go down as one of the best ever.”

Legally that is certainly true, but Clinton is dogged to this day by the aura of deceit that settled around his narrow, evasive, answers about his relationship with Lewinsky. “When you’re asked a question in a deposition,” Kendall said later as he defended the president’s narrow testimony in the Lewinsky case, “You ought to respond specifically to the question. You ought not, if asked your name, to give your name and address.” That discipline and control delivered Bill Clinton from the danger of a criminal charge and helped earned Kendall the highest praise from allies and opponents alike in the world of Washington litigation.

But the challenge Kendall faces in representing Hillary Clinton is that the context of her email scandal is not just legal. Her goal of becoming president, and indeed the hopes of the Democratic party for retaining the White House, are piggybacking on her defense in the email case. When it comes to matters unrelated to the law, Kendall is less well-versed. “His lack of being involved in the political process,” says the former member of Bill Clinton’s legal team, and the fact that “he’s never been in government,” are both challenges to his ability to advise Clinton.

On the legal issues relating to the handling of classified information, Kendall has recent experience. Kendall represented David Petraeus, the former CIA chief, who pleaded guilty in April to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified materials and was fined $100,000. The case resulted from Petraeus improperly sharing classified information with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Kendall led the negotiations that produced the plea deal, which angered FBI agents who thought Petraeus had misled their investigation into the matter.

Hillary Clinton so far appears not to be in the same kind of trouble Petraeus got himself into. But the news that two of Clinton’s emails may contain Top Secret information makes Kendall’s legal defense more complicated. The presence of classified emails does not in itself mean Hillary Clinton broke the law, or even President Obama’s rules regarding the proper protection of classified materials. Generally speaking under the laws criminalizing misuse of classified information, one is guilty only if one “knowingly” removed and intentionally retained secrets improperly. None of the emails contains markings indicating they contained secret information, the Inspector General and other officials have repeatedly said.

But communications intercepted via satellite or other overhead collection means are so closely protected that they have their own law 18USC798, with even tighter rules and higher penalties. That law makes it a crime not just to knowingly mishandle such secrets, but also to use them “in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States.” That in turn, says a senior intelligence official familiar with the case, means the FBI’s investigation into the handling of the classified materials “will go way beyond what the intelligence community’s Inspector General ever would do.”

Kendall declined to be interviewed for this article and the Clinton campaign did not return email messages asking for comment for it. The campaign has said her use of a private server and the discovery of classified information on it are being amplified by the political agendas of Republicans on Capitol Hill and on the 2016 presidential campaign trail.

That is no doubt true but it doesn’t make the job of defending her position any easier. Kendall will have his hands full as he attempts to juggle the legal interests of his client and the political reality she has to operate in. “He’s an incredible lawyer, he writes brilliantly, and he works harder than anyone else,” says Kendall’s old colleague from the Bill Clinton impeachment. “Whether he’s successful in the rough and tumble of the public arena is another question.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

The Legal Question Over Hillary Clinton’s Secret Emails

Secretary Hillary Clinton speaks to voters at a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
The Washington Post—The Washington Post/Getty Images Secretary Hillary Clinton speaks to voters at a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, July 28, 2015.

Two key questions: Did she know material was classified and did she act negligently handling it?

Is Hillary Clinton in trouble for having government secrets on her private email server?

Last week, the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community concluded that some of the emails Clinton and others exchanged on her private server while she was Secretary of State contained classified information.

But the consequences of that revelation were muddied early on by erroneous reports of a request for a criminal inquiry from the Justice Department and by official disagreement over when and whether the information in the emails was actually classified.

Legally, the question is pretty clear-cut. If Clinton knowingly used her private server to handle classified information she could have a problem. But if she didn’t know the material was classified when she sent or received it she’s safe.

There are several laws that make it a criminal offense knowingly to reveal or mishandle classified information. The main one, 18 USC 1924 reads:

Whoever being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

Clinton has explicitly and repeatedly said she didn’t knowingly send or receive any classified information. “The facts are pretty clear,” she said last weekend in Iowa, “I did not send nor receive anything that was classified at the time.” Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III, disagrees, saying some of the material was in fact classified at the time it was sent. But in his letter last week to Congressional intelligence committee leaders, McCullough reported that, “None of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings.” And there has been no indication Clinton knew she was sending and receiving anything classified.

The public doesn’t yet know the content of the classified emails, and the State Department and the inspectors general have tens of thousands still to review. If evidence emerges that Clinton knew she was handling secrets on her private server, “She could have a problem,” says William Jeffress, a leading criminal trial lawyer at Baker Botts who has represented government officials in secrecy cases. Barring that, says Jeffress, “there’s no way in the world [prosecutors] could ever make a case” against her.

Clinton also has to worry about government rules for handling secrets. In December 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13526, which renewed the long-running rules for classifying information and the penalties for revealing it.

Under that order, agency heads like Clinton are responsible for keeping secrets safe throughout their departments. And all officers of the government can be suspended, fired or have their security clearance revoked if they “knowingly, willfully, or negligently” disclosed secrets or broke the rules in any other way.

Was Clinton negligent in setting up her private email server and communicating with State Department staff exclusively on it? Says Steven Aftergood, a secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists, “The material in question was not marked as classified, making it very hard or impossible to show negligence.”

With 16 months until the 2016 presidential election, Clinton’s opponents will certainly try. And with tens of thousands of emails still to be reviewed, they’ll have plenty of material to work with.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Officials: Classified Emails ‘Should Never’ Have Been On Hillary Clinton Server

Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the media July 14, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong— 2015 Getty Images Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the media July 14, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

"Security referral" triggered by potential copies of classified documents on Clinton's home server, lawyer's thumb drive drive.

The Justice Department investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information was triggered by the revelation that classified information contained in Hillary Clinton’s private email account could still exist on her private home server and on the thumb drive in the control of her personal lawyer, U.S. officials confirmed Friday.

The referral was made by the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General (IC IG) to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counterintelligence division, not career prosecutors at the Justice Department. “The IC IG did not make a criminal referral,” said the Inspectors General for the State Department and Intelligence Community in a joint statement Friday. “It was a security referral made for counterintelligence purposes.”

The immediate concerns are four emails culled from a limited sample of 400 emails that contained previously unlabeled classified information. “These emails were not retroactively classified by the State Department; rather these emails contained classified information when they were generated and, according to IC classification officials, that information remains classified today,” their statement said. “This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”

In response to a records request from the State Department, Clinton has turned over approximately 30,000 work emails that she had stored on her private email server since her time as Secretary of State. She has previously said that those emails contained no classified information. The four emails in question were not properly labeled as classified, according to the inspectors general.

Both inspectors general say they were required to notify the FBI by law once they found that information that should have been marked as classified was found among the former Secretary of State’s emails. Relevant congressional committees were also notified on July 23.

A Department of Justice official confirmed to TIME Friday that, “The Department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information. It is not a criminal referral.”

I. Charles McCullough III, the inspector general for the intelligence community, voiced concerns in a July 23 memo to Congressional lawmakers over the proper handling of information contained in Clinton’s email records. He warned there has already been “an inadvertent release of classified national security information” in a recent release of emails under the Freedom of Information Act, a contention disputed by the State Department.

Andrea Williams, a spokeswoman for McCullough, confirmed that the referral was made to the FBI, in accordance with federal guidelines for the the discovery of the potential compromise of classified information.

In a March news conference, Clinton denied that she used the unsecured account for classified information. “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” she said. “There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

TIME

The Death of a Leading Tibetan Monk in Chinese Custody Has Sparked Outrage

India Tenzin Delek Reax
Ashwini Bhatia—AP Exiled Tibetans carry placards as they participate in a candlelit vigil to remember Tibetan lama Tenzin Delek Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, on July 13, 2015

The cause of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's death remains unknown

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a Tibetan religious leader imprisoned by China since 2002, died on Sunday. He was 65.

The cause of his death remains unknown, though the activist group Students for a Free Tibet has claimed that he suffered from a number of increasingly debilitating health conditions, the Washington Post reports. Chinese authorities had sentenced him to death when they arrested him 13 years ago, but commuted his sentence to 20 years on imprisonment in 2005.

The U.S. Department of State released a statement expressing condolences for the monk’s family and muted disapprobation toward China.

“The United States had consistently urged China to release Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, most recently out of concern for his health,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby wrote. “We hope Chinese authorities will investigate and make public the circumstances surrounding his death.”

The European Union had also called for the monk’s release.

According to Reuters, a spokeswoman for Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement, “We are saddened by reports that Tenzin Delek Rinpoche has died in detention in China. We raised his case with Chinese authorities on a number of occasions, including during the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in April this year.”

A number of Tibet supporters also took to Twitter to mourn the cleric’s passing and demand the cooperation of Chinese authorities.

TIME Hillary Clinton

State Department Releases Hillary Clinton’s Emails on Benghazi

Hillary Clinton Campigns In Iowa, Meeting With Small Business Owners
Scott Olson—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosts a small business forum with members of the business and lending communities at the Bike Tech bicycle shop on May 19, 2015 in Cedar Falls, IA.

The State Department released hundreds of emails Friday that were stored on Hillary Clinton’s private server during her time as Secretary of State.

The emails, which pertain to the Benghazi terror attacks in September 2012, do not change the official assessment of the incident in which a U.S. ambassador was killed, the State Department said. “The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks, which have been known since the independent Accountability Review Board report on the Benghazi attacks was released almost two and a half years ago,” wrote spokeswoman Marie Harf.

Clinton, who wants to avoid the controversy over her emails and Benghazi stretching into the primary and general election next year, told reporters in Hampton, N.H. on Friday that the released emails had previously been sent to the committee investigating the Benghazi attack in 2012. “I’m glad that the emails are starting to come out. It is something that I’ve asked to be done, as you know, for a long time. Those releases are beginning,” Clinton said.

But the release further complicates Clinton’s unusual set-up of using a personal email server for official use. Sensitive information and email addresses in dozens of emails have been redacted under privacy and exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act protecting internal agency deliberations.

According to a senior State Department official, 23 words in a single email were classified Friday at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The email was unclassified while it resided on Clinton’s server and when it was sent to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The official said the retroactive classification does not mean Clinton did anything improper at the time, adding “this happens several times a month” when FOIA reports are prepared for the public.

“I’m aware that the FBI has asked that a portion of one email be held back. That happens in this process,” Clinton said on Friday. “That doesn’t change the fact that all of the information in the emails was handled appropriately.”

The email in question is in reference to reports that Libyan police arrested several individuals believed to have been involved in the Benghazi attack, and the classified portion appears to refer the details of the local regional security officer’s report on the arrests. State Department Office of Maghreb Affairs Director William V. Roebuck sent the note to Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East Beth Jones, who forwarded it to top Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who forwarded it to Clinton at her personal address.

Those 23 words will be classified through November 18, 2032—twenty years after the email was first sent.

Clinton has asked that the State Department speed up the release of her work emails. “I’ve said from the very beginning that I want them to release all of them as soon as possible. They are in the process of doing that. I understand that there is a certain protocol that has to be followed,” Clinton said. “It’s beginning. I would like to see them expedited to get more of them out, more quickly.”

The emails provide insight into Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, and Clinton herself has said she wants the public to learn more about her role as the country’s chief diplomat.

With reporting by Phil Elliott

TIME National Security

Widow of American Captive Killed in Strike Criticizes U.S. Hostage Support

The wife of Warren Weinstein joins a number of families calling for more centralized support and communication

The wife of an American captive of al-Qaeda who after more than three years was killed during a counterterrorism operation in January, the Obama administration acknowledged Thursday, called on the government to improve the “inconsistent and disappointing” help it offers the families of hostages.

“We hope that my husband’s death and the others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the U.S. government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families,” Elaine Weinstein, now the widow of Warren Weinstein, said in a statement, according to McClatchyDC. Her husband, who was held alongside Italian hostage Giovanni Lo Porto, also killed in the operation, was working as a development adviser in Pakistan when he was captured in 2011.

Weinstein’s comments echo calls from a number of families of U.S. captives for more frequent communication from the government, more centralized negotiation efforts—no single person is in charge of trying to free hostages—as well as a more case-by-case approach to freeing captives. Some families, including those of journalist James Foley and aid worker Kayla Mueller, have also criticized the U.S. ban on paying ransoms, which State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said would remain in place.

The Obama administration began an internal review of its hostage policies last summer, she told reporters, and has reached out to 82 families involved in hostage situations as far back as 2001.

“These families have gone through the worst thing they will ever have to go through, and I think you hear a lot of different statements from them. We’ve heard people talk about how supportive the U.S. government has been,” Harf said. “But we know this is an incredibly challenging issue. That’s why we’re doing a review of how we deal with all of these issues.”

[McClatchyDC]

TIME

Clinton Allies Knock Down Donor Allegations, New Questions Pop Up

Hillary Clinton attends the Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on April 22, 2015.
Win McNamee—Getty Images Hillary Clinton attends the Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on April 22, 2015.

Hillary Clinton’s allies are pushing back against the suggestion in a new book that donations to the Clinton Foundation influenced the handling of the sale of U.S. uranium mines to a Russian-backed company.

The new book, Clinton Cash: the Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, says that Hillary Clinton failed in 2010 to block the purchase of American uranium mines by a Russian-backed company while people with financial and strategic interests in the sale were making millions of dollars of donations to the Clinton Foundation, a philanthropy run by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

The suggestion of outside influence over U.S. decisionmaking is based on little evidence — the allegations are presented as questions rather than proof. The deal’s approval was the result of an extensive interagency process that required the assent of at least nine different officials and agencies. A former State Department official who participated in the deal’s approval told TIME that Clinton did not weigh in on the uranium sale one way or the other, and her campaign calls the allegations in the book “absurd conspiracy theories.”

But the book’s dark suggestions reflect the growing problem Clinton faces in her run for the White House in 2016 as more and more details of the foundation’s fundraising activities present the appearance of impropriety and lack of transparency during her time as Secretary of State.

One chapter of the book, written by conservative author Peter Schweizer and obtained by TIME, focuses on an obscure deal that had been years in the making. Schweizer says Secretary Clinton failed to block the Russian State Atomic Nuclear Agency (Rosatom), a Kremlin-controlled nuclear agency, from purchasing a controlling stake in an American Uranium mining concern, Uranium One. The company’s chairman, Ian Telfer, was a major donor to the Clinton Foundation. Several other Clinton Foundation donors stood to gain from the agreement as well.

Because the proposed sale involved the transfer of potentially strategic U.S. assets, the Uranium One transaction was subject to approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency panel that comprises powerful federal agencies. In prior years, Clinton had urged the committee to take a hawkish view of deals involving U.S. strategic assets, and Schweizer says that should have inclined her against the Rosatom purchase. “Despite a long record of publicly opposing such deals Hillary didn’t object,” Schweizer writes in the version of the chapter obtained by TIME. “Why the apparent reversal? Could it be because shareholders involved in the transaction had transferred approximately $145 million to the Clinton Foundation or its initiatives? Or because her husband had profited from lucrative speaking deals arranged by companies associated with those who stood to profit from the deal?”

The State Department’s role in approving the deal was part of an extensive bureaucratic process, and the chapter offers no indication of Hillary Clinton’s personal involvement in, or even knowledge of, the deliberations. State has just one vote on the nine-member committee, which also includes the departments of Defense, Treasury and Energy. Disagreements are traditionally handled at the staff level, and if they are not resolved, they are escalated to deputies at the relevant agencies. If the deputies can’t resolve the dispute, the issues can be elevated to the Cabinet Secretary level and, if needed, to the President for a decision. The official chairman of CFIUS is the Treasury Secretary, not the Secretary of State.

Before purchasing a controlling stake in Uranium One, the Russian conglomerate also had to get approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an independent agency outside of the State Department’s purview, as well as Utah’s nuclear regulator. It also received the sign-off of Canada’s foreign investment review agency. The deal itself was the outgrowth of a diplomatic initiative launched by the Administration of George W. Bush to expand trade opportunities between Russia and the U.S., including in the area of nuclear power.

One official involved in the process said Clinton had nothing to do with the decision in the Uranium One case. Jose Hernandez, who as former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs was the State Department’s principal representative on the committee, rejected the notion that Clinton’s foundation ties had any bearing on the deal. “Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter,” he told TIME. A spokesperson for Hillary for America, Josh Schwerin, also attacked the suggestions made in the book. The transaction “went through the usual process and the official responsible for managing CFIUS reviews has stated that the Secretary did not intervene with him,” Schwerin says, “This book is twisting previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories.”

Throughout the new book, Schweizer suggests that Clinton used her authority as Secretary of State to intervene on behalf of companies that donated to her family’s foundation. Clinton has sought to distance herself from the charges on the campaign trail, calling the GOP claims “distractions.”

Even if Clinton was not involved in approving the deal with the Russian company, the book does raise more questions about the Clinton Foundation’s transparency regarding its donors and shows that the issue will continue to dog her candidacy. The book reports that Telfer, the Uranium One chairman, donated $2.1 million to a Clinton Foundation subsidiary through a charity he controls around the time the purchase was being finalized, an assertion TIME has verified through a review of public records. Those donations do not appear on the foundation’s disclosure of donors. Telfer is listed for smaller donations he made directly to the parent foundation.

In 2008 the Clinton Foundation and President Barack Obama’s transition team signed a memorandum of understanding about the foundation’s activities to allay congressional concerns over potential conflicts of interest stemming from its donors as Clinton was preparing to become Obama’s Secretary of State. “In anticipation of Senator Clinton’s nomination and confirmation as Secretary of State, the foundation will publish its contributors this year,” the agreement states. “During any service by Senator Clinton as Secretary of State, the foundation will publish annually the names of new contributors.”

Exempt from that relationship were an array of Clinton Foundation subsidiaries, including the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, a Canadian-based charity that works to establish “social enterprises” in the developing world. Telfer is one of three directors of a charity called the Fernwood Foundation, according to Canadian tax records dug up by Schweizer and verified by TIME. Fernwood has donated $2.1 million to the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, which at one point passed through as much as 88% of its donations to the main Clinton Foundation, Schweizer writes. Schweizer alleges that Telfer had 1.6 million shares in Uranium One and profited hugely off the deal, a claim that couldn’t be independently verified.

The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership is listed as having given contributed more than $25 million to the foundation according to its online disclosures, but the foundation does not list any of the Giustra Partnership’s individual donors. When contacted by TIME, a spokesman for the Clinton Foundation deferred comment to the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, which didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Without a full account of donors to the foundations, allegations like the one in Schweizer’s book will follow Clinton’s candidacy even as she seeks to remain above the fray. The campaign, for its part, will continue to do its best to discredit Schweizer’s book and distance itself from Republican attacks.

“While Republicans focus their efforts on attacks, Hillary Clinton is going to continue to focus on how to help everyday Americans get ahead and stay ahead,” the Clinton campaign said in a memo circulated Tuesday night. “That’s what her campaign is about, and no book — especially one as discredited as this one — is going to change that.”

Read next: How New Hampshire’s Women Paved the Way for Hillary Clinton

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TIME politics

It’s 1815 All Over Again: The Troubling Tale of the Chappaqua Email Server

Congress of Vienna
Culture Club / Getty Images Congress of Vienna, 1814, after painting by J B Isabey

There are protestations that the HRC files were unclassified. But, the history of the Congress of Vienna shows, every bit can be exploited

History News Network

This post is in partnership with the History News Network, the website that puts the news into historical perspective. The article below was originally published at HNN.

Keyboards are aflutter over the revelation that former U.S. Secretary of State and presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) bypassed the State Department and outsourced her email management to a server located at the Clinton family home in Chappaqua, NY. It is a brewing storm in search of a scandalous name. Hillar-email-ageddon? Chappaqua-servergate?

Put aside for the moment the propriety of a Cabinet official engaging in these practices and let us explore why this cyber kerfuffle created potentially easy pickings for determined nation-state actors and put national security at risk.

Does anyone care about seemingly uninteresting tidbits from the world’s most powerful foreign minister? After all, as HRC has noted, the emails were not classified. Simple. Countries want to know the plans and intentions of friends and enemies, and they will take any scraps they can get.

To illustrate, let us wind the clock back to a time when one world power had no compunction about breaching protocol and spying on everyone’s diplomatic correspondence in a concerted effort to protect the security of the state and further its own political agenda.

Exactly two hundred years ago, the European powers gathered at the Congress of Vienna to redraw the map of the Continent. The French Revolution had collapsed after a head-chopping reign of terror. Napoleon’s gallivanting across Europe was over. The aristocrats were back in the catbird seat and they were ready to party. For nine months from the official opening in October 1814 until June 1815, greater and lesser powers jockeyed for position as territories changed hands.

The secret police of the Austro-Hungarian Empire had been preparing for months for the delegates’ arrival. As the diplomats negotiated at the Congress or whiled away the evenings at fancy dinners and galas, the Austrian surveillance state was hard at work, following their every move. Secret police transcripts from the time run in the thousands of pages. No grain of information, however mundane, escaped notice and was dutifully transmitted to the Emperor’s desk.

The backbone of the Austrian spying program was reading diplomatic correspondence as delegates reported progress back to their countries (and threw in the odd bit of palace gossip and intrigue.)

Some diplomats tried to take precautions by sealing the envelopes with distinctive wax seals bearing their royal crests. Today we might call this using a weak password because the Austrian secret police could break the seals without leaving a trace. In secret bureaus, operatives employed special smokeless candles to pry loose the seals and, using metal putty, create perfect counterfeit replicas. The mail could be read, a new seal put in place, and the mail sent on its way as if it had traveled unmolested. Just like a man-in-the-middle attack works today for third parties who want to read your email and leave you none the wiser.

This worked until the nobles used new seals, which would be like changing your password to something easily guessable, and presented only a minor inconvenience to Austrian intelligence until new fake seals could be fabricated.

Some royals were too clever by half. Princess Theresa of Saxony tried to fool the watchers by giving the major diplomatic players nicknames in her letters home. The French foreign minister became “Krumpholz” and the Austrian was “Krautfeld”. Let’s call this very weak encryption, because with a little bit of work, a trained eye could engage in word substitution and figure out the puzzle.

Others went farther, writing in invisible ink between the lines of more innocuous letters. This is like strong encryption, but can still be broken with enough technical know-how. Prepared as ever, the secret police had chemical solutions to reveal the hidden text.

The Secretary of State’s email is like the diplomatic correspondence of two hundred years ago. As the Austrians had figured out, the connection of many innocuous seeming details could tell a story and provide indicators of an adversary’s intentions.

Imagine you intercepted a one-line HRC email to a staff aide: “Purchase Urdu phrase book by Fri” (not a real example). Might this indicate that a trip to Pakistan was imminent, signaling a change in U.S. foreign policy? India would certainly care about this, as would others with interests in the region.

Back at the Congress of Vienna, closely watching friend and foe soon overwhelmed the secret police. In addition to the four major political powers of the day, hundreds of advisors, courtesans, hangers-on and special interest groups had descended on the capital.

The surveillance net had grown too wide. It was impossible to shadow everyone and the decryption bureau was getting behind in transcribing letters, leading higher-ups to complain that the mail was being delayed. The intelligence service had what we might call a Big Data problem, and they had not yet evolved the analytical capabilities to make sense of all the information that poured in daily. Modern governments have many more resources at their disposal and can leverage technology to separate the wheat from the chaff, quickly doing the work that legions of clerks once did by hand, so vacuuming up all the data doesn’t necessarily create an undue burden.

Not everyone had his proverbial pockets picked at the Congress. One shining beacon of good information security practices emerges. The British Foreign Secretary, Viscount Castlereagh, though under the watchful eye of the Austrian surveillance state, frustrated their efforts to penetrate his information cocoon. In their internal reports the secret police privately complain that they cannot obtain any useful information. Castlereagh hired his own household servants, thwarting efforts to infiltrate his milieu with local agents. He further had his diplomatic correspondence hand-carried back to London and he ensured that all notes were completely burned in the fireplace.

Castlereagh’s good example from two hundred years ago shows us how these common-sense practices can still resonate today in the digital age, notably not sending sensitive information via unprotected channels and using electronic document shredding to erase proprietary information.

It is doubtful that the Chappaqua server had encryption to the standards of State Department diplomatic security. Yes, the HRC email server was behind a locked door. But information flowed in and out. As SecState, HRC was a million-plus mile flyer. Thus, of the tens of thousands of emails she penned while in office, we must reasonably assume that a significant number were sent from overseas before being routed via Chappaqua. From the WiFi hotspot at the airport VIP lounge in Beijing or Moscow perhaps? Who sits atop these access points to the information highway and sniffs the messages passing through? Answer: whoever wants to.

There are protestations that the HRC files were unclassified. But, as has been shown from the point of view of a two-century-old intelligence service (that didn’t even have the benefit of electricity), every bit can be part of a larger mosaic and exploited for all the wrong reasons. This tale of snooping during the Congress of Vienna would be an amusing bit of waltz-till-dawn diplomatic history if it weren’t such a stark reminder that in the digital age a country with enough resources and ill intent can use time-honored practices to exploit weaknesses in communications practices, read the mail, and make calculated adjustments based on what it learns. And that is why this episode has such disturbing implications.

Greg Cullison is an independent researcher and Founder & CEO of ProVerity, Inc., a security and risk analysis firm headquartered near Washington, D.C.

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