SPONSORED:

Top Dem presses officials on Clinton email classification

Top Dem presses officials on Clinton email classification
© Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee’s leading Democrat on Monday pressed key administration officials on the process used to determine whether emails sent through Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' Why does Bernie Sanders want to quash Elon Musk's dreams? Republican legislators target private sector election grants MORE’s personal server were classified.

ADVERTISEMENT

The process the federal government uses to designate classified information is “fundamentally broken and in desperate need of reform,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote to Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryMcCarthy hails 'whole-of-government approach' to climate Biden must compel China and Russia to act on climate The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - US vaccine effort takes hit with Johnson & Johnson pause MORE and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

In July, Cummings asked the FBI to provide him with information on the process and whether the State Department and the intelligence community had reviewed and agreed with the decision to label certain emails as “classified” at the time that they were sent.

The agency has not provided answers to those questions, according to Cummings, “[maybe] in part, because the FBI is not the entity making the classification determinations.”

FBI Director James Comey in July announced that the agency’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server did not turn up sufficient evidence to accuse the former secretary of State of intentionally mishandling classified information.

But in his summary of the investigation’s findings and related testimony on Capitol Hill, Comey said that a total of 113 emails contained information that federal agencies said was sensitive at the time it was sent or received.

Among those were eight threads containing 22 emails classified as top secret — the highest tier of classification.

At least three of the emails among the more than 30,000 reviewed by the FBI included some markings indicating information was classified.

Cummings on Monday expressed concern that “these and other documents” were “simply over-classified.”

“I understand there has been significant attention on Secretary Clinton because she is running for president, but if agencies in fact believe these emails were classified when they were sent, this reflect a much larger challenge across multiple federal agencies with respect to determining when information is in fact classified,” Cummings wrote.