The State Department has identified “multiple security incidents” involving the handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails by current and former staffers, the agency said in a letter Monday.
At least 15 people were involved and there were 23 “violations” and seven “infractions” issued as part of the department’s ongoing investigation.
The State Department has been investigating Clinton’s email from the time she was Secretary of State during the Barack Obama administration. She deleted some 30,000 emails and scrubbed hard drives after she left the post, and subsequent probes have found that she mishandled classified material.
No names of Clinton staffers were released. In a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the department said it “does not release the names of current or former employees participating in the security incident program.”
“However, in the spirit of cooperation, the Department can share with you certain information about the status of the ongoing review. To this point, the Department has assessed culpability to 15 individuals, some of whom were culpable in multiple security incidents. DS has issued 23 violations and 7 infractions incidents under 12 FAM 550. This number will likely change as the review progresses.”
Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the State Department’s Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, also said the process has been time-consuming.
“Given the volume of emails provided to the Department from former Secretary Clinton’s private email server, the Department’s process has been necessarily more complicated and complex requiring a significant dedication of time and resources,” Taylor wrote.
The department said it expects to end its probe by September 1.
Clinton had her own private email server in her New York home, which was used by her and her top staff. She’s been found to have mishandled classified information, including in 2016, when then-FBI Director James Comey said that she had been “extremely careless” with such documents in emails.
“And in March, it was revealed that the Justice Department ‘negotiated’ an agreement with Clinton’s legal team that ensured the FBI did not have access to emails on her private servers relating to the Clinton Foundation,” Fox News reported. “Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok testified about the arrangement during a closed-door appearance before the House Judiciary Committee last summer, according to a transcript released this year.”
“A significant filter team” was employed at the FBI, Strzok said, to “work through the various terms of the various consent agreements.” Limitations imposed on agents’ searches included date ranges and names of domains and people, Strzok said, among other categories.
Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s top aide and estranged wife of sex offender Anthony Weiner, also allegedly forwarded State Department emails — including the classified passwords for government systems — to her personal email account on Yahoo, a service provider that later saw every account hacked, according to a Daily Caller report in January.
Explaining its current process, the department said: “In every instance in which the Department found an individual to be culpable of a valid security violation or three or more infractions, the Department forwarded the outcome to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Office of Personnel Security and Suitability (DS/PSS), to be placed in the individuals’ official security file. All valid security incidents are reviewed by DS and taken into account every time an individual’s eligibility for access to classified information is considered.
“This referral occurred whether or not the individual was currently employed with the Department of State and such security files are kept indefinitely. Consistent with the referral policy, for individuals who were still employed with the Department at the time of adjudication, the Department referred all valid security violations or multiple infractions to the Bureau of Human Resources.”
Those found in violation can be fired, or, depending on the circumstances, ordered into counseling, reprimanded or suspended, the department said.
President Trump weighed in on the new development, saying, “Wow!” and “This is really big.”
“Wow! The State Department said it has identified 30 Security Incidents involving current or former employees and their handling of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s Emails. @FoxNews This is really big. Never admitted before. Highly Classified Material. Will the Dems investigate this?” he wrote on Twitter.