The inspectors general for the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Intelligence Community issued a joint written statement late Friday afternoon asserting that emails that Hillary Clinton had on her personal email account while she was Secretary of State, and that she kept on a personal server after she left the government, “contained classified information when they were generated,” “remain classified today” and “should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”
This joint statement the two inspectors general issued late Friday contradicts what former Secretary Clinton said about the emails on Saturday.
So far, the inspector general for the Intelligence Community has only been allowed to review a sample of 40 out of the total of 30,000 emails from Clinton’s private email server that Clinton has turned over to the State Department. Of that limited sample of 40, 4 contained classified information.
“The four emails, which have not been released through the State FOIA process, did not contain classification marking and/or dissemination controls,” State Department Inspector General Steve Linick and Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough, III, said in their joint statement released late Friday afternoon.
“These emails were not retroactively classified by the State Department; rather, these emails contained classified information when they were generated and, according to IC classification officials, that information remains classified today,” the inspectors general said.
“This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system,” they said.
On Saturday, after the inspectors general had released this statement, former Secretary Clinton made a statement at an event at the Madison County Historical Complex that contradicted what the inspectors general said.
“I am confident that I never sent or received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received. What I think you’re seeing here is a very typical kind of discussion, to some extent disagreement among various parts of the government, over what should or should not be publicly released,” Clinton said, according to the Associated Press.
“I think there’s so much confusion around this that I understand why reporters and the public are asking questions, but the facts are pretty clear. I did not send nor receive anything that was classified at the time,” she said.
In their joint statement Friday, Inspectors General McCullough and Linick reiterated that they believe that Clinton emails containing classified information may not only be on a private server but also on a thumb drive.
“IC IG made a referral detailing the potential compromise of classified information to security officials the Executive Branch,” said their joint statement. “The main purpose of the referral was to notify security officials that classified information may exist on at least on private server and thumb drive that are not in the government’s possession.
“An important distinction is that the IC IG did not make a criminal referral – it was a security referral made for counterintelligence purposes,” the IGs said in their joint statement. “The IC IG is statutorily required to refer potential compromises of national security information to the appropriate IC security officials.”
In a memo that he sent on Thursday to the chairman and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees and to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, IC Inspector General McCullough said that the 30,000 emails Clinton handed over to the State Department were also “purported” to be on a thumb drive in the possession of her personal lawyer.
“As I advised in my 25 June 2015 notification, the 30,000 emails in question are purported to have been copied to a thumb drive in the possession of former Secretary Clinton’s personal counsel, Williams and Connelly attorney David Kendall,” IG McCullough said. “As my office’s limited sampling identified four emails containing classified IC information, I referred this mater to counterintelligence officials at State and within the IC, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”