In March 2015, I began my investigation into Secretary Clinton’s use of non-government email for official business. Since then, I have written hundreds of letters, held hearings, and discussed my findings and concerns right here on the Senate floor. After all, the public’s business ought to be public.
Today, we can add more findings to that ongoing list of Secretary Clinton’s and her associates’ wrongful conduct.
The other week, I released a report from the State Department that finalized their administrative review of how Secretary Clinton’s private server setup caused hundreds of security violations. That review found the following:
First, 91 valid security violations were identified and attributable to 38 individuals. That means 38 individuals mishandled classified information and were punished for it. The sanction for a violation includes suspension or revocation of their security clearance, suspension without pay, or termination, among other things.
Second, an additional 497 valid violations were identified; however, the State Department was unable to determine who was culpable. State was unable to identify culpability because some former Department employees didn’t sit for interviews, and because Secretary Clinton kept her server secret from government officials so it was impossible for the Department to monitor security protocols in real time.
The review also noted that there was a five-to-nine-year gap between the beginning of Secretary Clinton’s State Department tenure when the security incidents began, and when she finally turned over the emails – which she initially refused to do. This many-years’-long gap made it very challenging to determine who was culpable for every violation.
In total, Secretary Clinton’s use of a non-government server for government business caused 588 security violations for mishandling classified information. Some of that classified information was classified at the highest levels, including Top Secret/Special Access Program information.
According to the FBI, Secretary Clinton sent and received emails that contained that highly classified information. It’s hard to fathom how that wouldn’t undermine our national security.
If the average American did that, they’d lose their clearance, their job, and might even go to jail. That’s what happened to a Navy Sailor, Kristian Saucier. He took six photographs inside a submarine that exposed information classified at the Confidential level. He mishandled classified information. He pled guilty and was sentenced to one year in federal prison.
Third, the review found the non-government server increased the risk of unauthorized disclosures.
Fourth, the review found that the non-government server increased the risk of security compromises. Clinton’s server setup has been described as being so badly secured that it’s almost impossible to detect who attempted to attack it and gain access – anyone could have done it.
Fifth, the review found that some classified information was deliberately transmitted via unclassified email and resulted in adjudicated security violations.
Many in the press, as well as partisan Clinton defenders, have hung their hat on State’s finding that there was “no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.” Take, for example, the Washington Post. Their headline was, “State Department probe of Clinton emails finds no deliberate mishandling of classified information.”