Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillSenate set for muted battle over Breyer successor Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid Harry Reid, political pugilist and longtime Senate majority leader, dies MORE (D-Mo.) on Wednesday accused Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonJewish groups sound the alarm as anti-vaccine mandate movement invokes Holocaust Former Senate candidate launches bid for governor in Wisconsin Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate Sarah Godlewski rolls out rural policy plan MORE (R-Wis.) of selectively leaking information about the security of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' MORE’s personal email server in an effort to mislead the public.
“It’s important that if we’re going to unilaterally cherry-pick information out of a closed investigation and make it public, it is important that the public have context,” McCaskill said during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.
Johnson heads the committee, which is investigating the private email setup Democratic presidential candidate Clinton used during her time as secretary of State. Security specialists have worried the server lacked the proper cyber defenses to keep out hackers and foreign cyber spies.
But McCaskill blamed Johnson for interfering with the committee’s inspection.
“My concern is the selective release of information has created a public narrative that prejudges the outcome of the investigation and creates an incomplete and potentially misleading picture for the public of the record before the committee,” said McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Investigations.
Earlier this month, Johnson released a letter from the investigation that showed that cyberattacks from China, South Korea and Germany had targeted Clinton’s private server after she left the Obama administration in early 2013.
According to the letter, a “threat monitoring” product rebuffed the intrusion attempts, but the memo also noted there was a three-month period in which that defensive measure was not installed, possibly leaving the server exposed to other attacks.
Johnson’s letter was part of an inquiry to security company SECNAP Network Security, which Clinton’s IT firm Platte River hired to install the defensive tools on Clinton’s server.
“You have chosen to release substantial portions of internal emails from Platte River, as part of your additional requests to two different companies, in a manner which created the impression in the media and the public that the committee’s investigation had found that there were shortcomings related to the server backups and its security,” McCaskill said.
The inquiry is in its preliminary stages, she added.
“I am concerned that the totality of the record before the committee, which is currently limited to one set of documents from one company, and includes no interviews at all, is not a sufficient basis to draw those conclusions,” McCaskill said.
After speaking, McCaskill’s office said the Missouri Democrat got consent from the committee to publicly release all internal documents that Johnson drew from in his letter.