Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has directed that her private server be turned over to the Department of Justice as part of a continuing probe into the handling of potentially classified information on her email account, her campaign announced Tuesday.
According to spokesman Nick Merrill, Clinton directed that the server stored in her Westchester, NY home and a thumb drive in the possession of her attorney—both of which contained copies of emails from her time as Secretary of State—be transferred to the Justice Department. On Monday, Clinton signed an affidavit swearing under penalty of perjury that she had turned over all copies of potential government records from her time in office.
The revelation earlier this year that Clinton exclusively used the private account rocked Washington and her nascent presidential campaign, leading to an erosion her poll numbers and a majority of Americans to view her as untrustworthy. At the time, Clinton denied that her server contained any classified information.
Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of work emails to the Department of State last year, which are under review for release by the agency and the subject of multiple Freedom of Information Act requests. The first batch of emails released included a section of an email retroactively marked as top secret—one of at least dozens of instances of information included on the server that have since been marked as “confidential,” “secret” or “top secret.”
Last month, the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community sent a security referral to the Justice Department warning that Clinton’s server and the thumb drive may contain classified information outside of the government’s control.
“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,” the Inspectors General for the State Department and Intelligence Community in a joint statement in July. “This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”
Clinton “directed her team to give her email server that was used during her tenure as Secretary to the Department of Justice, as well as a thumb drive containing copies of her emails already provided to the State Department,” Merrill said in a statement. “She pledged to cooperate with the Government’s security inquiry, and if there are more questions, we will continue to address them.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement that the intelligence community has concurred with the inspector general that at least two messages should be upgraded to “top secret” classification.
“The State Department takes seriously its obligations to protect sensitive information, holding its employees to a high standard of compliance with regulations and procedures,” he said. “Department employees circulated these emails on unclassified systems in 2009 and 2011 and ultimately some were forwarded to Secretary Clinton. They were not marked as classified.” The State Department is now working with the Director of National Intelligence to resolve the discrepancy in classification, Kirby added.
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