Clinton email classification rate rises – Washington Times

The classification rate for former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s government emails rose again Monday, as the department released more than 5,000 additional messages and deemed at least 6 percent of them to contain information that had to be kept from the public.

All told, some 325 messages in the new batch of emails were deemed “classified,” and one was deemed “secret.” Most of the classified messages were exchanged with fellow State Department employees, but a few of them were between Mrs. Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and others involved Sidney Blumenthal, a controversial confidante of the Clintons.

In the newly released emails, Mr. Blumenthal gave Mrs. Clinton advice on peace negotiations in Northern Ireland, and in one instance Mrs. Clinton even gave Mr. Blumenthal marching orders, asking him to confirm details he had shared with her about one of the factions involved in the peace negotiations.

Mrs. Clinton had previously said Mr. Blumenthal’s messages to her were unsolicited.

One document simply labeled “PLAN” was redacted entirely, including the name of the author and the date of the document. And another document, which the department filing system listed as a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and addressed to “President,” was also redacted in full.

The document labeled “secret,” meanwhile, was another copy of an email released during the initial set of Benghazi-related messages. Many of the 21,360 emails that have now been released are duplicates or parts of back-and-forth exchanges, so repeats are common.

The classified documents are routinely marked as relating to information derived from a foreign government or concerning a foreign power’s activities, which would cover messages such as Mr. Blair’s.

The new emails are part of the more than 30,000 messages Mrs. Clinton returned to the State Department last year, or nearly two years after she left her job as secretary. She revealed that she had rejected use of a State.gov account and instead used a server she set up at her New York home — and she kept the messages when she left government service.

After prodding by the congressional probe into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, Mrs. Clinton turned the messages back over to the administration, and under a court order the State Department is making them public.

The department has now released 21,360 emails, with another two sets still to come — one at the end of December and another at the end of January, or just days before the Iowa presidential caucuses.

Earlier in November the State Department released the standard nondisclosure agreements Mrs. Clinton, and her two top aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, signed when they joined the department. In those documents the three women promised to properly care for classified information.

The department also released separation agreements from Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills in which they asserted that they had returned all official government documents. No such agreement for Mrs. Clinton has been found in the department’s files.

Mrs. Clinton and her aides have returned tens of thousands of documents to the State Department that they sent during their time in government and that should have been kept in the department all along.

Mrs. Clinton’s email messages are all being released publicly, while her aides’ messages won’t be released in full, but are being searched in response to dozens of open-records requests.

The Associated Press, which filed one of the requests seeking Mrs. Clinton’s schedules, reported Monday that she met or spoke by phone with nearly 100 corporate executives and longtime financial backers in what the news organization described as stark planning for the 2016 campaign even while she was still holding office under Mr. Obama.

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