State Department Concludes Clinton Email Review, Found 91 Violations From 38 People

October 18, 2019 Updated: October 19, 2019

The review of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server has wrapped up. State Department investigators found nearly 600 security violations, they said in a report sent to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

Investigators found 91 “valid violations attributable to 38 individuals,” they wrote (pdf).

The individuals were described as current and former State Department officials but not identified in the report that was sent to Congress this week.

There were another 497 “valid violations where no individual was found to bear culpability, resulting in a ‘valid, but not culpable’ determination,” investigators said.

They said there were a number of challenges in probing the case, including “the unprecedented nature and scale of this event.”

“A typical spillage event involves a single email, not thousands of hard-copy documents to be sifted through. The scale alone caused considerable delay to the effort,” the report stated.

The significant time that elapsed between the time the emails were sent and the probe started, up to nine years for some of the emails, also posed challenges.

The probe concluded on Sept. 6 and the report was dated Sept. 13.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answers a question posed by student journalists during the Trailblazing Women of Park Ridge event in Park Ridge, Ill. on Oct. 11, 2019. (Joe Lewnard/Daily Herald via AP)

Investigators said that thousands of emails on the server, which was kept at Clinton’s New York house, contained some level of classified information, including some that were classified as top secret.

The probe included a review of all of Clinton’s emails and saw investigators interview dozens of people in person as well as obtain hundreds of statements.

They concluded that the use of personal email to conduct official government business “represented an increased risk of unauthorized disclosure.”

Clinton using the private server “added an increased degree of risk of compromise as a private system lacks the network monitoring and intrusion detection capabilities of State Department networks,” the report stated.

But investigators said they couldn’t find “persuasive evidence” of “systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.”

“While there were some instances of classified information being inappropriately introduced into an unclassified system in furtherance of expedience, by and large, ‘the individuals interviewed were aware of security policies and did their best to implement them in their operations. Correspondence with the Secretary is inherently sensitive, and is therefore open for broad interpretation as to classification, particularly with respect to Foreign Government Information. Instances of classified information being deliberately transmitted via unclassified email were the rare exception and resulted in adjudicated security violations. There was no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information,” they wrote.

Still, the use of personal email to conduct official business “added an increased degree of risk of compromise as a private system lacks the network monitoring and intrusion detection capabilities of State Department networks,” investigators wrote in the report.

“While the use of a private email system itself did not necessarily increase the likelihood of classified information being transmitted on unclassified systems, those incidents which then resulted in the presence of classified information upon it carried an increased risk of compromise or inadvertent disclosure.”

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