News & Politics

House Oversight Chairman Has Questions for FBI Regarding Clinton Email Storage

FBI Director Comey Testifies on Clinton E-Mail Server Investigation (Rex Features via AP Images)

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz is demanding answers from the FBI regarding the possibility that unauthorized people such as Hillary Clinton’s lawyers and IT staffers mishandled classified emails. This comes a week after Chairman Chaffetz and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte sent a letter to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia outlining the case for perjury against Hillary Clinton, citing several examples where her sworn testimony before Congress was incompatible with evidence collected by the FBI in their investigation into her private email server.

On Monday, the Utah Republican sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey asking if the possibility of “spillage” had been “fully investigated and remediated.”

“Just as classified information may not be provided to anyone without an appropriate clearance, classified information must also not be stored on a computer system that is not authorized to store it,” Chaffetz wrote. “The transfer of classified information from a computer system authorized to store it to one that is not is called spillage.”

According to The Hill, information about the storage of Clinton’s classified emails at her lawyers’ offices was not included in the documents the FBI gave to Congress last week.

Documents requested in the letter:

  • Information as to whether the FBI investigated the possibility that Secretary Clinton’s classified emails were improperly stored or accessed by her personal representatives or by individuals at Williams & Connolly LLP, including on any unauthorized electronic devices or media, such as desktops or servers, and the Bureau’s conclusion if it did investigate that;
  • A description of the manner in which Clinton’s personal representatives and individuals at Williams & Connolly stored any electronic devices and media and physical documents containing Secretary Clinton’s classified emails when they were not in use, and a description of the physical location in which those devices, media, and documents were accessed when they were in use, including the Bureau’s assessment of whether those met applicable security requirements;
  • What steps were taken to remediate any possible spillage of classified information stored on electronic media or in any of the other various locations in which Secretary Clinton’s emails were stored and accessed;
  • Whether the FBI informed Secretary Clinton of the classified findings in its investigation and, if so, when;
  • Whether the FBI is conducting any other related investigations, or has attempted to do so, and the current status of each such investigation;
  • Whether the FBI referred any of its findings to any other agency for review for potential security violations or misconduct or disciplinary proceedings;
  • An unclassified copy of the documents provided to the Committee on August 16, 2016, with all classified information redacted.

Full text of the letter can be viewed here.

Comey stated during his July 7 testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that Clinton’s lawyers did not have the requisite security clearances to handle classified information.

Incredibly, the State Department still allowed Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, to store 55,000 Clinton emails in his unsecure office.

“We want the FBI director to look at those people that Hillary Clinton gave access to this information who did not have a security clearance,” Chaffetz told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News’ On the Record Tuesday evening.

He said that some of the information was so classified that even he as the chairman of the oversight committee couldn’t see it. Yet Hillary Clinton gave the classified documents to people who don’t have  security clearance.

“She testified under oath that they had gone through it [the emails] in great detail,” Chaffetz explained. “But the FBI director testified to us in Congress that that was not the case.”

He pointed out  that as the secretary of State, Clinton was dealing with classified information on an hourly basis. “It’s reasonable to think that her information is chock full of classified information — and it was.”

“Who are these people that had access to this information?!” Chaffetz exclaimed.

While it is unfathomable to think that the FBI did not look into the improper storage of Clinton’s emails, it seems to be an open question. If Director Comey decides to look further into the “spillage” issue, the closed Clinton email investigation may have to be cracked back open.