New Clinton email released was 'classified'
A Clinton email released by the State Department carries a classified designation known as "portion marking," once again giving the lie to Clinton's claim that she handled no classified emails that ended up on her private, unsecured server.
But a 2012 email released by the State Department appears to challenge that claim because it carries a classified code known as a “portion marking” - and that marking was on the email when it was sent directly to Clinton’s account.
The “C” - which means it was marked classified at the confidential level - is in the left-hand-margin and relates to an April 2012 phone call with Malawi's first female president, Joyce Banda, who took power after the death of President Mutharika in 2012.
"(C) Purpose of Call: to offer condolences on the passing of President Mukharika and congratulate President Banda on her recent swearing in."
Everything after that was fully redacted before it was publicly released by the State Department -- a sign that the information was classified at the time and dealt with sensitive government deliberations.
A US government source said there are other Clinton emails with classified markings, or marked classified, beyond the April 2012 document.
A January 2014 federal government training manual, called "Marking Classified National Security Information," provides a step-by-step guide for reviewing classified information, and allocating classified codes or "portion markings."
"This system requires that standard markings be applied to classified information...Markings shall be uniformly and conspicuously applied to leave no doubt about the classified status of the information, the level of protection required, and the duration of classification."
It adds, "A portion is ordinarily defined as a paragraph, but also includes subjects, titles, graphics, tables, charts, bullet statements, sub-paragraphs, classified signature blocks, bullets and other portions within slide presentations, and the like."
"Portion markings consist of the letters “(U)” for Unclassified, “(C)” for Confidential, “(S)” for Secret, and “(TS)” for Top Secret."
Why does Hillary Clinton continue to deny that any classified emails ended up on her private server? As you can see from the designations above, this particular email was designated "confidential" – the lowest form of classified communication. It is entirely possible that most of the emails in question were so marked, making her claim that no emails designated "classified" were on her server.
We're familiar with this Clinton parsing of words and twisting of meanings, so her continued defense raises the possibility that she's playing word games to appear innocent.
Another line of defense was that she never knowingly used her private server to read classified documents. Sid Blumenthal makes that argument:
Blumenthal said he expects FBI Director James Comey to publicly confirm that Clinton and her aides did not deliberately compromise the nation's secrets.
"This is the question that is at the center of the Department of Justice FBI investigation: Whether anybody had intent, criminal intent to put classified information outside of the system. I believe that was not the case, and I think then, that we will see a statement coming from the FBI stating that, saying that... I assume that the FBI has an interest in - James Comey, the FBI Director has an interest in acting promptly to resolve this remaining question. But I feel confident about the resolution, " Blumenthal said.
Sounds good – except the law makes it clear that intent is irrelevant. If the classified communications were negligently handled, it's a violation.
It's getting harder to see how Director Comey can avoid charging Clinton. The severity of those charges might be debatable. But with at least 22 emails found on her server that clearly violate the law, Comey is running out of options – and time.