Top Dem denies criminal probe of Clinton’s emails

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is rebutting reports that the State Department has formally requested a federal criminal investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump: We are proud of African-American history museum Kim Kardashian confirms: 'I stand with Hillary' No, Doctor: Hillary's eyes are just Hillary's eyes MORE’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.

"I spoke personally to the State Department inspector general on Thursday, and he said he never asked the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation of Secretary Clinton's email usage,” Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said Friday in a statement.

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Instead, State Inspector General Steve A. Linick, “told me the Intelligence Community IG notified the Justice Department and Congress that they identified classified information in a few emails that were part of the [Freedom of Information Act] review, and that none of those emails had been previously marked as classified."

The Democratic presidential candidate has faced repeated criticism for her private email use, with Benghazi panel members refusing to schedule her testimony until records they've demanded are handed over.

The New York Times reported Thursday that a criminal request was made by two inspectors general following a June 29 memo to Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy that found Clinton’s email server held “hundreds of potentially classified emails." 

State is reviewing the emails from Clinton’s serve for public release. The first batch of more than 1,900 emails was released June 30.

In that initial group, portions of some emails were redacted because they became classified, but none were marked as classified at the time Clinton handled them.

The inspectors general told Kennedy in a July 17 memo that at least one released email contained information that was classified, but did not identify what it was.

For his part, Cummings said the select committee “has obtained zero evidence that any emails to or from Secretary Clinton were marked as classified at the time they were transmitted, although some have been retroactively classified since then.”

“This is the latest example in a series of inaccurate leaks to generate false front-page headlines − only to be corrected later − and they have absolutely nothing to do with the attacks in Benghazi or protecting our diplomatic corps overseas,” said Cummings, who also serves as ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.