Kerry: State has 'massive amount of overclassification'
© Francis Rivera

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryUN chief warns unchecked climate change will mean 'survival of the richest' Conservatives rip FBI over IG report: 'scathing indictment' Live coverage: DOJ inspector general testifies on Capitol Hill MORE said on Thursday that federal agencies like his own are often overly cautious with sensitive national intelligence. 

Kerry’s remarks come as his predecessor, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden hires Clinton, O'Rourke alum as campaign's digital director Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll Clinton tweets impeachment website, encourages voters to 'see the evidence for themselves' MORE, is facing criticism for using a private email server during her tenure at the State Department.

“Well, it’s very tricky — there’s a massive amount of overclassification,” he said, according to The Huffington Post.


“People just stamp it on quickly because it’s a way to sort of be correct if anybody had a judgment that somehow they had been wrong about whether it should be classified or not,” Kerry added.  “So the easy thing is to classify it and put it away.”

Kerry also argued on Thursday that no evidence currently exists that Clinton mishandled classified information by using a personal storage device while at State.

“One of the judgments that can be made to date is that there is no evidence that something was transmitted that was classified at the time,” he said.

“If information came in to somebody’s BlackBerry or on somebody’s email that wasn’t classified, and then was later classified in the system, that’s a whole different ballgame,” Kerry added.

Reports emerged on Thursday that a staffer who worked on Clinton’s email server during her tenure at State plans to plead the Fifth rather than testify before Congress.

Lawyers for Bryan Pagliano indicated the former IT employee is asserting his constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment not to answer questions from the House Select Committee on Benghazi given the “current political climate.”

“One of the Fifth’s basic functions … is to protect innocent men … who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances,” Pagliano’s attorney, Mark MacDougall, said on Thursday.

Pagliano is scheduled for an appearance before the House Benghazi Committee on Sept. 10.

At issue is whether Clinton prevented accountability or jeopardized national security by using a personal email server while at State.

Voter concerns over her technology habits are gradually eroding her support across multiple national polls.

Clinton remains the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic nomination despite the controversy, earning 49.2 percent voter support, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls