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Hillary Clinton emails are ‘top secret’ and cannot be released, State Department says

22 emails on Ms Clinton’s unsecured home server contained closely guarded secrets

 

Rachael Revesz
New York
Friday 29 January 2016 21:42 GMT
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The discovery this week is bad timing for the Presidential hopeful ahead of the Iowa caucus
The discovery this week is bad timing for the Presidential hopeful ahead of the Iowa caucus (AP)

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had 22 emails on her unsecured personal server that contained "top secret" information which cannot be released, according to the State Department.

The Obama administration confirmed for the first time on Friday that these emails included information that demanded the highest level of classification, according to Associated Press.

Ms Clinton’s home server account had 37 pages of messages which contained what a key intelligence official called “special access programs” - material that could point to confidential sources or programs like drone strikes or government eavesdropping.

The administration would not confirm the substance of the emails or whether Ms Clinton sent any of them herself.

They also did not reveal whether the information was classified at the time of transmission.

Ms Clinton has previously insisted that she never sent or received information on her personal email account that was classified at the time.

If Ms Clinton or her aides have committed a classification infraction, possible responses include counseling, warnings or other action, State Department officials said.

“The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because they contain a category of top secret information,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told the AP.

He said the decision to withhold documents was “not unusual”, which means they will not even be published online with blackout boxes.

The account was not hacked or compromised, but Ms Clinton did admit using it was a “mistake”.

It first became known 10 months ago that Ms Clinton had used a person email account linked to a homebrew server for potentially classified information and it has formed a shadow over her campaign.

The issue was raised again this week as Charles I. McCullough, the inspector general for US intelligence agencies, gave examples of information on Ms Clinton’s account in a letter to Congress, which was seized upon by Republicans.

Friday’s discovery comes at an awkward time for the Presidential hopeful as she faces the Iowa caucus on 1 February alongside competitor Bernie Sanders.

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