Clinton e-mail disclosure slowed by security concerns
WASHINGTON — Dozens of e-mails that traversed Hillary Clinton’s private, unsecure home server contain national security information now deemed too sensitive to make public, according to the latest batch of records released Friday.
In 2,206 pages of e-mails, the government censored passages to protect national security at least 64 times in 37 messages, including instances when the same information was blacked-out multiple times.
Clinton has said she never sent classified information from the private e-mail server in her home in New York, but federal investigators said some of the material should have been marked classified.
The Friday release brings the volume of e-mails publicly released by the State Department to roughly 12 percent of the 55,000 pages Clinton had turned over to department lawyers earlier this year.
That falls short of the 15 percent goal set by a court ruling in May, a lag the State Department attributed to interest by the inspector general of the US intelligence community in the possible compromise of classified information.
There were no obviously stunning revelations in the e-mails released Friday, which reflected the workaday business of government. Some of the documents could reflect favorably on Clinton, such as a message in August 2009 about a 10-year-old Yemeni girl who had been married and divorced, and had been portrayed as unhappy in a CNN story.
“Is there any way we can help her? Could we get her to the US for counselling and education?” Clinton asked an aide, who began making calls.
Others could be controversial, such as 2009 messages from former adviser Sandy Berger about how to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel about negotiations with Palestinians.
Some e-mails show the extent to which her closest aides managed the details of her image. Top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, for example, sent her an early-morning message in August 2009 advising her to “wear a dark color today. Maybe the new dark green suit. Or blue.” Clinton later held a joint news conference with the Jordanian foreign minister. She wore the green suit.
Clinton’s decision not to use a State Department e-mail account has become a political problem for her, as Republicans seize on the disclosures to paint her as untrustworthy.
There is also the matter of the classified information that found its way onto her insecure e-mail system.
Memos sent by the inspector general of the intelligence community alerted the FBI to a potential security violation arising from Clinton’s use of a private server located in her home.
The inspector general said his office has found four e-mails containing classified information while reviewing a limited sample of 40 of the e-mails provided by Clinton. Those four messages should have been handled as classified because they contained restricted information at the time they were sent, the inspector general said.
Clinton has defended her e-mail usage, saying her server had “numerous safeguards” and placing responsibility for releasing the documents on the State Department.
“They’re the ones that are bearing the responsibility to sort through these thousands and thousands of e-mails and determine at what pace they can be released,” she said after meeting with labor leaders Thursday. “I really hope that it will be as quickly as possible.”