A pair of emails on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE’s private server was indeed “top secret” when they passed through her machine, intelligence officials have concluded, according to a pair of reports.
The tentative finding comes despite opposition from the State Department, which had disputed the initial classification level handed down by the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General.
According to Fox News, one official called the decision to classify the messages at the highest level a “settled matter.”
One of the two emails has since been downgraded to the “secret” level of classification, both Fox and Politico reported.
Still, the intelligence community’s insistence that the emails were “top secret” when they passed through Clinton’s machine is likely to cause new headaches for her front-runner Democratic presidential campaign, which has long battled allegations about Clinton’s exclusive use of a “home brew” email setup throughout her tenure as secretary of State. By using a personal email address housed on a private server, her email correspondence might not have been protected by the same security standards as official government emails, critics have warned, potentially making critical secrets vulnerable to hackers.
The two emails currently under review by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are believed to contain details about movement of North Korean missiles as well as U.S. drones. Information in the emails is believed to have come from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the CIA.
The initial finding that the emails were “top secret” triggered an investigation by the FBI, which is still combing through Clinton’s personal server to probe possible mishandling of classified information.
Last month, Politico reported that intelligence officials had downgraded the classification of both of those emails. However, new reports claim that officials believe both emails were “top secret” when they were received on Clinton’s machine, even though one of the emails has since been downgraded to “secret.”