National Security

Final batch of Clinton emails released

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The State Department released the final batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails Monday evening, the night before Democratic voters from 11 states head to the polls for Super Tuesday.

The tranche contains 261 emails with information considered classified, a State Department official said. Of those emails, 238 have information considered “confidential,” while 23 contain information considered “secret.”

In total, at least 2,079 of the Clinton emails released by State have had some form of classification. 

Monday’s release brings an end to a 10-month process that began last May, when the State Department first began releasing tranches of the presidential candidate’s emails to the public.

{mosads}The monthly releases have kept Clinton’s email practices in the headlines, fueling the controversy over her exclusive use of a private email account while serving as secretary of State. 

The messages released Monday run about 3,800 pages.

During a press briefing earlier Monday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said he was unsure how many of Monday’s group contained classified information. But, he added, none were deemed “top secret,” the government’s highest level of classification.

One of two emails that the intelligence community’s inspector general wanted to label “top secret” was released Monday as “secret” after further review from the intelligence community, Kirby said. The email, from July 3, 2009, pertains to North Korea.

The email, which is largely redacted, has the subject line “Summary of the 1055 EDT DPRK Conference Call.” It was sent by a senior watch officer in the department’s operations center, Shelby Smith-Wilson, to Clinton’s executive staff. Longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin forwarded Clinton the email as part of a chain of replies.

Another email about North Korea from Abedin talks about reports saying North Korea fired two short-range rockets.

“Ops called when u were at movies,” Abedin wrote to Clinton.

Many of the emails are about routine matters, such as scheduling issues. In one, she jokes about Hurricane Sandy delaying her flight.

“I am so jinxed when it comes to time off,” she wrote on Oct. 26, 2012. “God does not want me to relax!”

At the beginning of her term at the helm of the State Department in 2009, emails revealed that Clinton stayed glued to the healthcare reform debate as it unfolded on Capitol Hill — an issue in which she had been active since the ’90s.

She corresponded heavily with Neera Tanden, who led the Obama transition team in 2009 and later became a senior adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services’s (HHS) Office of Health Reform.

At one point, Clinton helped coordinate meetings between doctors “who practice functional integrative medicine” and HHS officials, particularly Nancy-Ann DeParle, who led the Office of Health Reform at the time.

“I think it’s important because if we don’t incentivize people to practice better health habits, we’ll not realize the savings everyone seeks,” Clinton wrote. “Should I call Nancy Ann or could you arrange? Pls let me know. Onward —-Hillary.” 

Tanden, who now serves as the president and chief executive of the progressive Center for American Progress, also discussed plans for Clinton to communicate with lawmakers while reforms were going through the legislative process at the time.

“On healthcare they are going to engage you with swing Senators more,” she emailed the secretary in September 2009. “And fyi, I’ve heard people were blown away by your remarks in the Cabinet meeting, when [President Obama] Potus asked for your insights.”

Clinton and Tanden stayed in touch to discuss the sausage-making process of the Affordable Care Act, including Congressional Budget Office scoring and issues with specific lawmakers.

Other emails uncover sensitive foreign policy gaffes, including the time in 2012 when an aide incorrectly identified the name of a Tunisian government official before a call with him.

In a chain of emails with the subject line “Tunisian FM Abdessalem,” staff arranged for Clinton to return the call of the country’s foreign affairs minister, Rafik Abdessalem.

While staff scheduled and dialed the call, Clinton asked for his first name.

“Rasik [raseek],” Monica Hanley, a Clinton aide, wrote at 7:46 p.m., before correcting herself four minutes later.

“Its Rafik, not Rasik,” Hanley replied.

Five minutes after that, an apparently angry Clinton responded: “That’s too bad since I just used the wrong name. I MUST only be give (sic) correct information.”

While Hanley quickly responded to Clinton (“Yes, understood.”), she also shot a note to Jake Sullivan, who served as deputy chief of staff in the department.

“I’m so upset,” she wrote. “I called the specials and they said rasik I looked it up just for kicks and of course its rafik. Sorry about this jake.”

Another set details the behind-the-scenes discussion about a visit from a Pakistani delegation in 2010 that was derailed after the men experienced “unwarranted” airport security checks that included a “full body screening.”

“The members of the group felt they were handled in a discriminatory fashion and decided the situation was such that they should cancel the trip and return home,” a State Department official wrote in a widely circulated email.

When the chain is sent to Clinton, she responds: “I would be happy to call and apologize if we can get [the Department of Homeland Security] to back off.”

“Also,” she continues, “can we send [U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard] Holbrooke or Vali [Nasr, an adviser to Holbrooke] or someone out to Dulles [airport] to try to persuade them to stay?”

Reports from the time indicate that the delegation did not stay.

A handful of emails are from friend and confidant Sidney Blumenthal. Critics have wondered why Blumenthal had such direct access to Clinton when some in her department didn’t have her personal address.

Two unclassified emails were withheld in full from Monday’s release. One was from a conversation between Clinton and President Obama. The other 18 emails from the conversation were already withheld last month.

The other email that was withheld was done so at the request of a law enforcement agency, Kirby said, without getting into further details. 

Prior to Monday’s release, 1,818 emails of Clinton’s emails were marked classified. That includes 22 that have been labeled “top secret.” 

Republicans have seized on the classified emails as evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) slammed Clinton, highlighting the number of classified emails and saying she should be disqualified from the presidency.

“On more than 2,000 occasions, Hillary Clinton recklessly jeopardized our national security and sensitive diplomatic efforts by using a secret, unsecure email server to send and receive classified material, including ‘top secret’ intelligence,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a written statement. “This was information so sensitive, its exposure potentially put lives at risk.

“Clinton’s unprecedented email arrangement was a clear attempt to skirt government transparency laws and place her political interests ahead of those of the American people.”

Clinton’s presidential campaign and the State Department have both denied that the emails were classified at the time they were sent. Much of the information in them was classified retroactively, they say.

While the State Department’s releases are over, the saga over the emails is not. 

A federal court last week said former aides to Clinton must answer questions under oath about their knowledge of her email system.  

The case centers on whether government officials violated open records laws in setting up and maintaining her system. 

The FBI is also investigating whether any laws were broken in relation to the unusual email setup.

Clinton last year said she had provided roughly 55,000 emails to the State Department from her server for review and release. The remaining 30,000, she said, were personal in nature and were deleted. 

The conservative group Judicial Watch last week told The Hill it believes the personal emails might still be retrievable.

Updated on March 1 at 9:55 a.m.

Tags Hillary Clinton

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