National Security Administration whistleblower Edward Snowden on Thursday said former 2016 Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is likely aware her use of a personal email server at the State Department exposed sensitive national intelligence.
Mr. Snowden said Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State was a problem and said a lesser employee would have been fired for committing the same offense.
“This is a problem because anyone who has the clearances that the Secretary of State has, or the director of any top level agency has, knows how classified information should be handled,” he said, according to excerpts of a recorded interview with Al Jazeera set to air on Friday.
“If an ordinary worker at the State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency … were sending details about the security of the embassies, which is alleged to be in her email, meetings with private government officials, foreign government officials and the statements that were made to them in confidence over unclassified email systems, they would not only lose their jobs and lose their clearance, they would very likely face prosecution for it,” he added.
Mrs. Clinton has fallen in public opinion polls amid controversy over her email use while serving as Secretary of State, which critics say prevented accountability of her actions and jeopardized national security interests.
Bryan Pagliano, a former staffer who worked on Mrs. Clinton’s email server, on Thursday said he would plead the Fifth Amendment rather than testify before Congress.
Mr. Pagliano’s lawyers said he would take advantage of his constitutional right now to answer questions from the House Select Committee on Benghazi given “the current political climate.”