News & Politics

FBI Investigating Whether Hillary Shared Secret Passwords with Aides for Access to Classified Material

(Kevin Lamarque/Pool Photo via AP, File)

In another exclusive for Fox News, intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports that the FBI is investigating whether Hillary Clinton shared computer passwords with her closest aides to allow sensitive intelligence to “jump the gap” between the classified systems and Clinton’s unsecured homebrew server. The government forbids sending or storing classified information outside secure, government-controlled channels, and has prosecuted employees for violations.

An intelligence source familiar with the Clinton probe told Fox News that “if [Clinton] was allowing other people to use her passwords, that is a big problem.” The sharing of passwords is strictly prohibited in the Foreign Service Officers Manual.

Such passwords are required to access each State Department network. This includes the network for highly classified intelligence — known as SCI or Sensitive Compartmented Information — and the unclassified system, known as SBU or Sensitive But Unclassified, according to former State Department employees.

According to Herridge, there are several potential ways classified information could have gotten onto Clinton’s server:

  • Reading intelligence reports or briefings, and then summarizing the findings in emails sent on Clinton’s unsecured personal server.
  • Accessing the classified intelligence computer network, and then lifting sections by typing them verbatim into a device such as an iPad or BlackBerry.
  • Taking pictures of a computer screen to capture the intelligence.
  • Using a thumb drive or disk to physically move the intelligence, although this would require access to a data center. It’s unclear whether Clinton’s former IT specialist Bryan Pagliano, who as first reported by the Washington Post has struck an immunity deal with the Justice Department, or others had sufficient administrator privileges to physically transfer data.

Most of these scenarios would require a password. And all of these practices would be strictly prohibited under non-disclosure agreements signed by Clinton and others, and federal law.

The agents involved are “not political appointees but top notch agents with decades of experience,” an intelligence source told Fox News.