- The Washington Times - Friday, January 8, 2016

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted Sunday she did not instruct an aide to send her classified information over nonsecure channels, pushing back at critics who say her unorthodox use of private email at the State Department repeatedly put sensitive information at risk.

Newly released emails from Mrs. Clinton’s tenure at the State Department showed Mrs. Clinton having a cavalier attitude about sending state information from source to source, telling her staff to send her correspondence through “nonsecure” channels if necessary because her fax machine was failing.

In an email marked June 17, 2011, and released by the State Department on Friday, Mrs. Clinton tells aide Jake Sullivan that she has not yet received a set of talking points.

“They say they’ve had issues sending a secure fax,” Mr. Sullivan wrote to the then-secretary of state. “They’re working on it.”

Mrs. Clinton responded to Mr. Sullivan by saying: “If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”

In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Mrs. Clinton said she only wanted data that could be sent that way, and that Mr. Sullivan “knew exactly what was and wasn’t appropriate.”

“Obviously, what I’m asking for is whatever can be transmitted,” she said.

Mrs. Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president, has been dogged by questions about her use of a private server while serving in the Obama administration, with potential Republican opponents suggesting she broke the law and could face criminal prosecution. The FBI is reportedly investigating whether Mrs. Clinton has made false statements on the matter.

The former first lady and U.S. senator said the latest dust-up is part of a series of fruitless attacks against her.

“As the State Department has said, there was no transmission of any classified information,” she added. “So, it’s another effort by people looking for something to throw against the wall, as you said in the beginning of the program, to see what sticks. But there’s no there there.”

She characterized what she did as routine.

“Oftentimes, there’s a lot of information that isn’t at all classified,” she told CBS. “So, whatever information can appropriately transmitted unclassified often was. That’s true for every agency in the government and everybody who does business with the government.”

On Sunday, The Associated Press reported that an official who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly said the State Department had found no indication that the document in question had been sent to Clinton using nonsecure fax or email.

The content of the email has been deemed classified, but the exchange still highlights Mrs. Clinton’s comfort in using nonsecure channels for official State Department correspondence.

Mrs. Clinton had said she neither sent or received any classified information. It is now known that Mrs. Clinton sent as many as 1,340 classified emails via her home server.

The action of sending classified information through informal channels drew the ire of Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman.

“The State Department’s latest Freedom of Information Act release contains a disturbing email that appears to show the former Secretary of State instructing a subordinate to remove the headings from a classified document and send it to her in an unsecure manner,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement.

“It raises a host of serious questions and underscores the importance of the various inquiries into the transmittal of classified information through her non-government email server. How long has the State Department been aware of this email? Why is it just now being released?” he said.

The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the Freedom of Information Act.

“President Obama’s State and Justice Departments owe the American people swift and accurate answers to these questions,” Mr. Grassley said. “The former secretary of state needs to finally come clean and be transparent about the email practices she used during her tenure at the department.”

Conservative watchdog groups agree.

“Secretary Clinton instructing her aides to send information ‘nonsecure’ should have been in her email signature, considering these emails lived on a private server in her basement,” said Jeff Bechdel, America Rising PAC communications director in a statement. “But that issue aside, what this email does reveal is the cavalier nature with which Clinton handled sensitive information at Foggy Bottom.”

The Hill first reported news of the email.

Of the 1,262 emails released Friday, 66 were classified at some level by the State Department.


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