(Image: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
A new report from the Associated Press reveals the Obama administration for the first time on Friday confirmed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's unsecured home server included some of the United States' most "closely guarded secrets," explaining that officials had to censor 22 emails containing information deemed 'top secret,' including material requiring "one of the highest levels of classification."
Clinton had used her own private home-based server to conduct official government business while at the State Department, and had retained tens of thousands of emails on that server even after she had left the department.
From the AP:
The revelation comes just three days before the Iowa presidential nominating caucuses in which Clinton is a candidate.
The State Department will release its next batch of emails from Clinton's time as secretary of state later Friday.
But The Associated Press has learned seven email chains are being withheld in full because they contain information deemed to be "top secret." The 37 pages include messages recently described by a key intelligence official as concerning so-called "special access programs" — a highly restricted subset of classified material that could point to confidential sources or clandestine programs like drone strikes or government eavesdropping.Department officials wouldn't describe the substance of the emails, or say if Clinton sent any herself. They also wouldn't disclose if any of the documents reflected information that was classified at the time of transmission, but indicated that the agency's Diplomatic Security and Intelligence and Research bureaus have begun looking into that question.
Even State Department spokesman John Kirby said that some of the material could not be released even with some information "blacked-out."
The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because they contain a category of top secret information," State Department spokesman John Kirby told the AP, describing the decision to withhold documents in full as "not unusual." That means they won't be published online with the rest of the documents, even with blacked-out boxes.
Bradley Moss, a Washington lawyer who handles security clearance issues, told the AP, "What I would hope comes out of all of this is a bit of humility," adding that Clinton should acknowledge she "made some serious mistakes."
Could this cause even further damage to Hillary Clinton's campaign that has already been struggling with the surge of Bernie Sanders and other scandals?