Back in August, when the first Top Secret documents were discovered on Hillary Clinton’s private server, I posted The real email question: Did Hillary Clinton sell US secrets? This was not nutter conspiracy theory stuff (YMMV) but an attempt to understand how, and more importantly why, Top Secret information made its way out of a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF, was stripped of its security classification and then transmitted over a very un-secure email system. At least two steps in this process required conscious action on the part of a human or humans (here, human is broadly defined to include Clinton’s operatives).
The logical conclusion was that the information was being used as part of the Clinton Foundation’s business development efforts. A new report provides more evidence for that, rather than merely evading FOIA requests, as the reason Clinton used a private server.
A member of Hillary Clinton’s staff at the Department of State emailed classified information about the government in Congo to a staffer at the Clinton Foundation in 2012, according to a copy of the correspondenceobtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, sent the email to the Clinton Foundation’s foreign policy director, Amitabh Desai, on July 12, 2012.
The message, which was originally obtained by the group Citizens United through a public records request, is partially redacted because it includes “foreign government information” that has been classified as “Confidential” by the State Department.
Although the information was not marked classified by the State Department until this past summer, intelligence sources tell the Free Beacon that it would have been classified at the time Mills sent it because “foreign government information” is considered classified from inception.
The email, which discussed the relationship between the governments in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, was originally drafted by Johnnie Carson, the State Department’s assistant secretary for African affairs, who sent it to Mills’ State Department email address.
What is hilarious is that Mills’s excuse:
An attorney for Mills said that she never knowingly transmitted classified information, and would presume that any information sent to her unclassified State Department email address—as opposed to through the department’s secure email system—was unclassified.
“When a subject matter sent the information on the unclassified system, [Mills] presumed it was unclassified,” said the attorney. ”She never knowingly transmitted classified information.”
Mills’ spokesperson also disputed the notion that the information would have been classified when it was sent. The attorney said that some information is not deemed classified until it is transmitted outside of the State Department.
“Information that is considered unclassified when discussed inside the State Department can later be deemed classified when it is being released outside of the Department,” said the attorney.
Intelligence experts have told the Free Beacon and other media outlets that “foreign government information” is one of the few categories of information that is automatically presumed classified from the time the U.S. government receives it, because it is so diplomatically sensitive.
As the Clinton Foundation is “outside of the Department” it seems like Mills is pretty much pleading guilty.
What you are seeing here is the government equivalent of insider trading. The information sent by Mills was acquired by the US government. That information was not available to the general public or even to that public which has an interest in the Congo. Mills forwarded this information to the Clinton Foundation, of which she is a board member, so the Foundation could make use of it. While this, in and of itself, may not have resulted in business decisions by the Clinton Foundation it clearly demonstrates why classified information was sent via Clinton’s private email server.
It now seems that the most likely reason why Clinton used a private server was to forward the interests of her Foundation. Yes, she wanted to evade scrutiny but the Clinton’s have always been about the cash and access to classified information simply facilitated that impulse.