Hillary Clinton Campaign Says Classified Emails Were on Server
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Democrat’s campaign says material was made secret retroactively.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign said Wednesday that emails on the private server she used when she was secretary of state contained material that is now classified, the clearest explanation thus far of an issue that has roiled her bid for the presidency.
At the same time, the campaign sought to play down the disclosure by saying the material had been retroactively classified out of an abundance of caution by U.S. intelligence agencies.
“She was at worst a passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became deemed as classified,” said Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.
Mrs. Clinton has been criticized for using a private email server when she was in office. Since 2013, the server was maintained by a small Denver company and stored at a secure data center in New Jersey until it was turned over to the FBI last week. Her use of the server has prompted an FBI counterintelligence investigation.
Republicans portrayed the Clinton campaign’s disclosure as a tacit admission that her previous statements about the partisan direction of the investigation were in error. Earlier this year, Mrs. Clinton said “there is no classified material,” before shifting her emphasis to say she didn’t receive any materials marked as classified.
“Secretary Clinton has repeatedly made false claims about her email records, and her charge that these investigations are partisan have been widely ridiculed. If she and her campaign are having a change of heart, she should personally admit the truth and retract her false statements,” said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.
The campaign’s latest statements add to the emerging picture of how Mrs. Clinton handled email stored on the private server between 2009 and 2013.
Platte River Networks didn’t know about any classified material on the server, a spokesman, Andy Boian, said Wednesday.
Mr. Boian said the Clinton server was picked up at the Clintons’ home in New York and moved to a “secure data center in New Jersey,” where it operated until last week. He said the computer was operational when Platte River took possession of it. “It was an email server,” he said, “That’s what they used it for.”
The two emails in question were written by lower-ranking State Department officials and forwarded to Mrs. Clinton by top aides Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin, who both now work for her Democratic presidential campaign.
An inspector general for the intelligence community said earlier this year he found four emails containing material that were classified at the time they were written.
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