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Clinton emails not highly classified, intel agency reportedly rules

Clinton emails not highly classified, intel agency reportedly rules
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Federal intelligence officials have determined that two of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Gabbard considering 2020 run: report Claiming 'spousal privilege' to stonewall Congress MORE’s emails did not contain highly classified information, according to a report on Friday that undercuts an inspector general’s analysis.

After reviewing the emails, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has decided it did not merit the highest level of classification initially given to them by the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General, Politico reported, citing an anonymous source.

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The determination came after a dispute between the intelligence community watchdog and the State Department, which contested the initial determination. 

The finding could bolster Clinton’s claim that she never sent or received obviously classified intelligence while using her server as secretary of State. The spy agency watchdog initially indicated that the pair of emails were top secret and appeared related to intercepted intelligence information from U.S. spy satellites.

But that watchdog review was based on “a flawed process,” a person familiar with the determination told Politico. Though officials initially believed the email was classified because it contained information from a top secret report, that report was not written until days after the email was sent, the news outlet reported.

The determination “is further evidence that there was no wrongdoing by Secretary Clinton,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) cheered Friday. 

“The classification process is complex and subjective, but this confirms Secretary Clinton did not send classified information through her email account,” added Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "It’s time to put this issue behind us and move on.”

The two emails were received by Clinton in 2009 and 2011. One is believed to contain information about North Korea, according to reports.

A spokesman with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment on the report.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said his office had not received final word from the intelligence office about the emails.

“What hasn’t changed is our view … that we don’t believe they should be classified at that level,” he said. “As far as we know they’re still being reviewed by the intelligence community.”

Both Clinton’s presidential campaign and the State Department have repeatedly insisted that nothing sent or received by Clinton was marked as classified at the time it was sent. However, hundreds of emails have since become classified, they have said, due to the passage of time and ongoing events.

- Updated at 4:10 p.m.