News & Politics

Uh-Oh: Newly Released Email Was Marked Classified When It Hit Clinton's Server

Hillary Clinton has claimed from the very beginning of the email scandal that nothing she sent or received was marked classified at the time. As recently as Wednesday of this week, she told Fox News’ Bret Baier that “nothing that I sent or received was marked classified. And nothing has been demonstrated to contradict that. So it is the fact. It was the fact when I first said it. It is the fact that I’m saying it now.”

Unfortunately for Hillary, the State Department today released an email from 2012 that totally contradicts her “fact.” According to Catherine Herridge at Fox News, the email carries “a classified code known as a ‘portion marking’ – and that marking was on the email when it was sent directly to Clinton’s account.” (Not retroactively, as the Clinton camp likes to claim.)

The “C” – which means it was marked classified at the confidential level – is in the left-hand-margin and relates to an April 2012 phone call with Malawi’s first female president, Joyce Banda, who took power after the death of President Mutharika in 2012.

“(C) Purpose of Call: to offer condolences on the passing of President Mukharika and congratulate President Banda on her recent swearing in.”

Everything after that was fully redacted before it was publicly released by the State Department — a sign that the information was classified at the time and dealt with sensitive government deliberations.

A US government source said there are other Clinton emails with classified markings, or marked classified, beyond the April 2012 document.

A January 2014 federal government training manual, called “Marking Classified National Security Information,” provides a step-by-step guide for reviewing classified information, and allocating classified codes or “portion markings.”

“This system requires that standard markings be applied to classified information…Markings shall be uniformly and conspicuously applied to leave no doubt about the classified status of the information, the level of protection required, and the duration of classification.”

It adds, “A portion is ordinarily defined as a paragraph, but also includes subjects, titles, graphics, tables, charts, bullet statements, sub-paragraphs, classified signature blocks, bullets and other portions within slide presentations, and the like.”

“Portion markings consist of the letters “(U)” for Unclassified, “(C)” for Confidential, “(S)” for Secret, and “(TS)” for Top Secret.”

As has been pointed out too many times to count, whether an email is marked “classified” or not  is completely irrelevant because it was her responsibility to ascertain whether the information shared through her private email server was classified. But Hillary kept using the excuse and will probably continue to do so because it’s all she’s got.

Meanwhile, Fox News interviewed Clinton henchman Sidney Blumenthal, who said that the Romanian hacker known as Guccifer may have worked for Russian intelligence.

“Marcel Lazar is a Romanian. He worked from a Russian server. He may well be part of a Russian information operation,” Blumenthal explained.

While he said there’s no way Lazar compromised Clinton’s emails, the hacker told Fox News in a telephone interview before reaching a plea deal with the Justice Department that it was “easy for me, for everybody” to access the Clinton server.

Given more than 2,100 classified emails were on the server, Fox asked Blumenthal if he had a security clearance to handle such material. “I was her friend, and I had no security clearance, nor did I seek it, nor did anyone ever send me anything that was classified. So I had no access to, nor did I send or receive any classified material.”

Blumenthal said he expects FBI Director James Comey to publicly confirm that Clinton and her aides did not deliberately compromise the nation’s secrets.

Asked about the 2012 email that was marked “confidential,” spokesman Brian Fallon fell back on a favorite excuse that doesn’t apply here:  “This email was just a request for Secretary Clinton to make a phone call to express condolences over the passing of the President of Malawi. The fact that this email was classified after the fact suggests again that agencies in the government tend to err on the side of classifying even routine matters of diplomacy.”

According to Fox’s source, the email in question and other Clinton emails were marked classified when they were sent to Clinton’s account.