As the firestorm over President Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to consume the news cycle, the Trump administration has taken new action into a controversy that played a central role in the 2016 election: the Hillary Clinton private email server scandal.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that State Department investigators are “investigating the email records of dozens of current and former senior State Department officials who sent messages to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email.”
“As many as 130 officials have been contacted in recent weeks by State Department investigators — a list that includes senior officials who reported directly to Clinton as well as others in lower-level jobs whose emails were at some point relayed to her inbox, said current and former State Department officials,” the Post reports. “Those targeted were notified that emails they sent years ago have been retroactively classified and now constitute potential security violations, according to letters reviewed by The Washington Post.”
The Post’s sources say investigators began contacting former officials 18 months ago, “then seemed to drop the effort before picking it up again in August.” In “virtually all” of the cases, potentially sensitive information was sent to Clinton’s private, unauthorized server, the outlet notes.
A State Department official stressed to the Post that the renewed investigation “has nothing to do with who is in the White House.” The official, who asked to remained anonymous, told the paper, “This is about the time it took to go through millions of emails, which is about 3½ years.”
In its report on the State Department’s investigation into Clinton’s use of an unsecured private server, The New York Times claims that the FBI’s investigation into the issue concluded “without finding wrongdoing by Mrs. Clinton.”But that’s not what the FBI said at all. In his much-critiqued announcement of the bureau’s findings just a few months before the 2016 election, former FBI Director James Comey condemned Clinton and her colleagues’ “extremely careless” handling of “very sensitive, highly classified information.””Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” said Comey.”There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about those matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation,” Comey asserted.
“None of these emails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these emails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at agencies and departments of the United States government — or even with a commercial email service like Gmail,” he said later.
The “security culture” of Clinton’s State Department, said Comey, was “generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information that is found elsewhere in the government.”