Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III sent a letter to leaders on congressional intelligence committees last week indicating that the email on Hillary Clinton’s private server contained classified information including some on “special access programs,” which is classified above “top secret.”
The news report initially came from Fox in what was labeled as an exclusive report earlier today. Subsequently the report was verified independently by real news outlets including CNN , CBS News, NBC News, and AP. CNN reported that, “A spokeswoman for the inspector general confirmed to CNN the report was accurate.” NBC News was among the news services which contained their own copy of the letter. They report:
Emails from Hillary Clinton’s home server contained information classified at levels higher than previously known, including a level meant to protect some of the most sensitive U.S. intelligence, according to a document obtained by NBC News.
In a letter to lawmakers, the intelligence community’s internal watchdog says some of Clinton’s emails contained information classified Top Secret/Special Access Program, a secrecy designation that includes some of the most closely held U.S. intelligence matters.
Two American intelligence officials tell NBC News these are not the same two emails from Clinton’s server that have long been reported as containing information deemed Top Secret.
While I would normally ignore reports from Fox, the independent confirmation from CNN and NBC News suggests that this aspect of the report should also be taken seriously:
Intelligence from a “special access program,” or SAP, is even more sensitive than that designated as “top secret” – as were two emails identified last summer in a random sample pulled from Clinton’s private server she used as secretary of state. Access to a SAP is restricted to those with a “need-to-know” because exposure of the intelligence would likely reveal the source, putting a method of intelligence collection — or a human asset — at risk. Currently, some 1,340 emails designated “classified” have been found on Clinton’s server, though the Democratic presidential candidate insists the information was not classified at the time.
“There is absolutely no way that one could not recognize SAP material,” a former senior law enforcement with decades of experience investigating violations of SAP procedures told Fox News. “It is the most sensitive of the sensitive.”
As I noted in a post with further information on the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email earlier this month, McClatchy has also reported that at least 1340 Clinton emails contain classified information.
This latest news, which could both be highly damaging to Hillary Clinton politically, and which could lead to criminal prosecution if she is treated the same as others who have mishandled classified information, comes when Clinton is facing additional bad news politically, with Bernie Sanders having erased her previous lead in Iowa.