As Time Magazine wrapped up their person of the year issue at the end of 2016, a surprising group appeared among their finalists: hackers. Never before have hackers had such a significant influence on our nation’s politics.
Most notably, of course, were the emails released by WikiLeaks that illustrated the inner workings of the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
But the issue ran much further than actual hacks and email releases due almost entirely to the use of a private email server by Hillary Clinton. While no emails hacked from her server were released to the public, the carelessness with which she and her staff sent and received emails utilizing that server has now been widely established.
New insight into the process that led to many of Clinton’s emails being released has now become clearer. The FBI Sunday quietly released 300 pages of records regarding the investigation into Clinton’s email practices. The new release of information details how many officials friendly to Clinton tried to get the classification of specific emails changed to a lower level.
The email exchanges in this new release “show disagreements between the FBI and State Department over whether some of Clinton’s personal emails should be classified.” One email from April 2015 suggests that the State Department was “forum shopping” as they sought a recommendation for the classification that would be most favorable to Clinton.
“You’re about to get drug into an issue on classification of the Clinton emails,” the email from an FBI official reads. “They are contesting CTD’s classification decision and would like to discuss it with you. (Forum shopping I believe.)”
Here’s more from Fox News:
Another email highlights the involvement of State Department undersecretary Patrick Kennedy who sought to have the FBI reduce classification on emails regarding the 2012 Benghazi attack. The FBI did not want to reduce the classification because they feared that the information in it could interfere with foreign relations.
“While the email does not name the particular official, this might be deduced and, given the threat of violence in the region, any surmise could be fatal for whoever cooperated with us,” the official wrote. “State says no one will know if it is redacted, but that is not how classification works,” the official added.
The new information highlights the key role that Clinton supporters played within the FBI and the State Department. It remains unclear how many classified documents may or may not have been changed in an attempt to help then-candidate Clinton.
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