Secretary of State John Kerry has been conspicuously quiet about his predecessor’s email controversy, and perhaps now we know why.
One of the emails that the State Department released on Friday was sent by Kerry—from his iPad—to then-Sec. Clinton, and it has been determined that that email contained classified information.
This isn’t the first time an email from Kerry has been found on her server—previous email releases have shown that she and her staff communicated with him on a number of occasions when he was a senator—but this is the first email that has been classified as “Secret.”
In the heavily-redacted email, dated May 19, 2011, Kerry, who then chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, appears to be discussing negotiations between India and Pakistan. Besides Clinton, the email was sent to Tom Donilon, who then served as President Obama’s National Security Advisor.
Clinton forwarded the email to an aide, instructing her to “Pls print” the document.
The redactions in the email are listed under the Freedom of Information Act exemptions 1.4(b) and 1.4(d), which are categories reserved for information gleaned from foreign government sources.
The kicker is that Kerry sent Clinton the information from his iPad, a communications device that would have been much more vulnerable to hackers than an encrypted communications system.
According to the RNC’s calculations, 243 emails released Friday were classified at some level, bringing the overall number of classified Clinton emails to 1,583. The State Department also announced Friday that it is withholding in full and into perpetuity 22 emails that contain “Top Secret” information — the highest classification category.
The State Department is withholding another 18 emails between President Barack Obama and then-Sec. Hillary Clinton, citing “the longstanding practice of preserving presidential communications for future release.”
According to the New York Post, Obama requested last October that the emails be kept private.
These emails, according to State Department spokesman John Kirby, “have not been determined to be classified.” But the fact that he traded emails with Clinton undermines Obama’s story that he didn’t know about her homebrew server until he heard about it on the news.
Meanwhile, under Clinton and Kerry’s leadership, the State Department for years ignored repeated U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests from various news agencies, as well as requests from congressional committees to see Clinton’s emails.
For years congressional Benghazi investigators were subjected to obstruction and delay. “The State Department never made any mention of the fact that there was this [secret] email account. That fact was actively concealed from us,” a House Republican told the Washington Examiner.
Clinton and her aides had the means to make life very difficult for Republicans trying to learn the full story of the attacks in Libya, and they did just that.
But so did the State Department under John Kerry.
Clinton’s private email address wasn’t discovered until August of 2014, and then only due to the efforts of the Republicans on the Select Committee on Benghazi. That fall, the State Department had no choice but to send a letter to Clinton requesting emails and documents related to her work while in office. State also sent letters to all previous secretaries of State back to Madeleine Albright. But Clinton was the only secretary of State who did all of her work on an unsecured server.
It seems there were a few powerful Democrats in Washington who were in on the secret.