Just as we warned, and she must have known, it appears at least 22 of the emails found on Hillary Clinton's private email server have been declared "top secret" by The FBI (but will not be releasing the contents) according to AP.
Clinton has insisted she never sent or received information on her personal email account that was classified at the time. No emails released so far were stamped "CLASSIFIED" or "TOP SECRET," but reviewers previously had designated more than 1,000 messages at lower classification levels for public release. Friday's will be the first at the top secret level.
And because the administration believes strongly in transparency and accountability, you won't get any information about just what kind of state secrets were passed on a non-secure server:
- STATE DEPT WON'T SPEAK ON CONTENT OF TOP SECRET E-MAILS: KIRBY
- KIRBY: SOME CLINTON-OBAMA E-MAIL EXCHANGES ARE BEING WITHHELD
The Obama administration is confirming for the first time that Hillary Clinton's unsecured home server contained some closely guarded secrets, including material requiring one of the highest levels of classification.
The revelation comes just three days before the Iowa presidential nominating caucuses in which Clinton is a candidate.
The State Department will release more emails from Clinton's time as secretary of state later Friday.
But The Associated Press has learned that 7 email chains are being withheld in full for containing "top secret" material.
The 37 pages include messages recently described by a key intelligence official as concerning so-called "special access programs" — a highly restricted subset of classified material that could point to confidential sources or clandestine programs like drone strikes or government eavesdropping.
Department officials wouldn't describe the substance of the emails, or say if Clinton had sent any herself.
Spokesman John Kirby tells the AP that no judgment on past classification was made. But the department is looking into that, too.
For those that Clinton only read, and didn't write or forward, she still would have been required to report classification slippages that she recognized.
Possible responses for classification infractions include counseling, warnings or other action, State Department officials said, though they declined to say if these applied to Clinton or senior aides who've since left the department. The officials weren't authorized to speak on the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.
However, as we previously noted, the implications are tough for The DoJ - if they indict they crush their own candidate's chances of the Presidency, if they do not - someone will leak the details and the FBI will revolt... The leaking of the Clinton emails has been compared to as the next “Watergate” by former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova this week, if current FBI investigations don’t proceed in an appropriate manner. The revelation comes after more emails from Hilary Clinton’s personal email have come to light.
“[The investigation has reached] a critical mass,” DiGenova told radio host Laura Ingraham when discussing the FBI’s still pending investigation. Though Clinton is still yet to be charged with any crime, DiGenova advised on Tuesday that changes may be on the horizon. The mishandling over the classified intelligence may lead to an imminent indictment, with DiGenova suggesting it may come to a head within 60 days.
“I believe that the evidence that the FBI is compiling will be so compelling that, unless [Lynch] agrees to the charges, there will be a massive revolt inside the FBI, which she will not be able to survive as an attorney general,” he said.
"The intelligence community will not stand for that. They will fight for indictment and they are already in the process of gearing themselves to basically revolt if she refuses to bring charges."
The FBI also is looking into Clinton's email setup, but has said nothing about the nature of its probe. Independent experts say it is highly unlikely that Clinton will be charged with wrongdoing, based on the limited details that have surfaced up to now and the lack of indications that she intended to break any laws.
"What I would hope comes out of all of this is a bit of humility" and an acknowledgement from Clinton that "I made some serious mistakes," said Bradley Moss, a Washington lawyer who regularly handles security clearance matters.
Legal questions aside, it's the potential political costs that are probably of more immediate concern for Clinton. She has struggled in surveys measuring her perceived trustworthiness and an active federal investigation, especially one buoyed by evidence that top secret material coursed through her account, could negate one of her main selling points for becoming commander in chief: Her national security resume.