- None of the 1,000-plus pages of documents termed `top secret'
- Redacted exchanges on Sinai, John Kerry among latest tranche
The U.S. State Department released another 551 of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails from her time as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state, including about 15 percent that had been given updated security classifications after the fact.
More than 1,000 pages of documents sent from Clinton’s private e-mail account and released on Saturday included 81 messages upgraded to “confidential,” which is the lowest level of classification, and three to “secret,” said a State Department official.
The e-mails, which included deliberations on topics including policy toward Syria, Libya and the South China Sea, had not been tagged as classified at the time they were sent, according to the official, who asked not to be identified. None of the latest messages had been labeled “top secret,” a designation that had been given to 22 e-mails withheld from release in January.
Saturday’s release pushes the tally of Clinton’s e-mail disclosures to more than 45,000. Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate, relied on a private e-mail account and home-based server to conduct government business as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013. Republican critics have said the practice constituted a mishandling of classified information, and could return to that subject in a candidates’ debate in South Carolina on Saturday.
Clinton has repeatedly said she didn’t mishandle information and sent no information marked as classified at the time. Two more interim releases are scheduled this month, following a U.S. district court judge’s order, with all remaining documents to be disclosed by the close of business on Feb. 29.
The three “secret” e-mail strings released on Saturday included a nine-page exchange on Egypt’s Sinai peninsula from August 2012, an exchange on an unknown subject from September 2012, and a May 2011 request for Clinton to speak with then-Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who succeeded her as secretary of state in 2013. All were heavily redacted.
A spokesman for the Clinton campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus faulted Clinton’s handling of the documents again on Saturday. “This court-ordered release is another reminder that Hillary Clinton’s attempt to skirt transparency laws put our national security at risk,” Priebus said in a statement. “Buyer’s remorse must be growing amongst the Democrat establishment who have gone out of their way to rig the nominating process in her favor.”