The State Department confirmed months of speculation on Tuesday when it leaked to Fox News that it had opened a formal inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s alleged mishandling of classified information on her private email server. Clinton, who has repeatedly blamed the FBI’s handling of the inquiry for her embarrassing defeat in November, is now facing the possibility of having her top-level security clearance revoked – a penalty that echoes the investigation of former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.
President Donald Trump repeatedly promised to investigate the Clintons, so the probe could see the president fulfilling yet another campaign promise. As Fox reports, “during the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s use of top-secret and classified information on her private server, former FBI Director James Comey said there were seven email chains on Clinton’s computer that were classified at the “Top Secret/Special Access Program level.”
Another 2,000 emails on her private server were found to have contained information deemed classified now, though not marked classified when sent. In addition, the server also contained 22 top-secret emails deemed too damaging to national security to be released.”
To paraphrase Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that violations of statutes concerning the handling and dissemination of classified materials occurred.
Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell said he believes Clinton and her “circle of national security criminals” should not have access to any classified information for any reason.
“Their conduct has cost them that privileged position of special trust and confidence,” Farrell said.
“The department’s investigation aims to determine whether Clinton and her closest aides violated government protocols by using her private server to receive, hold and transmit classified and top-secret government documents. The department declined to say when its inquiry began, but it follows the conclusion of the FBI’s probe into the matter, which did not result in any actions being taken against Clinton or any of her aides.
Depending on the outcome of the current State Department inquiry, Clinton and her aides could have their access to sensitive government documents terminated. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, confirmed to Fox News the department’s formal inquiry.
Meanwhile, Grassley’s committee launched its own inquiry into Clinton’s handling of emails, an inquiry that began in March. Grassley cited among his concerns the July 5 statement of former FBI Director James Comey that the agency found Clinton and her staff members were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
A response from a Clinton spokesman suggests that the Clinton camp hasn’t learned from its mistakes during the campaign.
In the statement, Clinton’s top spokesman, Nick Merrill told Fox that a final judgment of Clinton has already been reached. “Nothing’s been more thoroughly dissected. It’s over. Case closed. Literally,” said Merrill.
Former FBI Director Comey announced that the bureau had closed its investigation in July 2016, before turning around and announcing that it had been reopened following the discovery of emails from Clinton on a laptop owned by former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
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