January 19–20, 2001: John Deutch pleads guilty to mishandling government secrets, then Bill Clinton pardons him.

CIA Director John Deutch (Credit: public domain

CIA Director John Deutch (Credit: public domain

Deutch was CIA director from May 1995 to December 1996. Shortly after he retired from the job, it was discovered that he stored and processed hundreds of highly classified government files on unprotected home computers that he and his family also used to connect to the Internet. An investigation began which dragged on for years. He was stripped of his CIA security clearance in 1999.

On January 19, 2001, Deutch agrees to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for mishandling government secrets as part of a plea bargain with the Justice Department. However, just one day later, President Bill Clinton officially pardons him. This is Clinton’s last day as president. (The Associated Press, 1/24/2001)

Early 2009: President Obama bans Blumenthal from a job at the State Department.

The Blumenthals attend a Christmas party at the White House during the early years of Bill Clinton's presidency. (Credit: public domain)

The Blumenthals attend a Christmas party at the White House during the early years of Bill Clinton’s presidency. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton wants to hire Sid Blumenthal as an official national security adviser in the State Department. Blumenthal had worked in President Bill Clinton’s White House in the 1990s, then had been a journalist, then joined Clinton’s presidential campaign as a senior adviser in 2007. However, Obama bans him from any government job.

According to a 2015 Politico article, “Obama aides were convinced that Blumenthal spread false personal and policy rumors about Obama during the battle between Clinton and Obama for the Democratic nomination.” When Clinton is asked in 2015 if the White House banned her from hiring Blumenthal, she won’t dispute it. (Politico, 10/22/2015) (Politico, 1/8/2016)

Blumenthal will soon get a full-time job at the Clinton Foundation with a $120,000 a year salary. For the duration of Clinton’s time as secretary of state, he will frequently email her intelligence information that he will later claim came from Tyler Drumheller, a CIA agent until 2005. (Politico, 5/28/2015)

January 21, 2009—February 1, 2013: Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton over 800 emails; many contain dubious intelligence.

That is an average of about one email every other day for Clinton’s four years as secretary of state. Blumenthal is a journalist, long-time Clinton confidant, and Clinton Foundation employee. But he is also a private citizen with no security clearance, so his emails are never vetted by US intelligence.

In 2015, The New York Times will report that Clinton “took Mr. Blumenthal’s advice seriously, forwarding his memos to senior diplomatic officials in Libya and Washington and at times asking them to respond. Mrs. Clinton continued to pass around his memos even after other senior diplomats concluded that Mr. Blumenthal’s assessments were often unreliable.” Furthermore, his “involvement was more wide-ranging and more complicated than previously known, embodying the blurry lines between business, politics, and philanthropy that have enriched and vexed the Clintons and their inner circle for years.”

Many of Blumenthal’s emails discuss Libya, which becomes a political hot spot due to a civil war in 2011. At the same time, he gets involved with business associates wanting to win contracts from what will become the new Libyan government. Clinton’s State Department would have to give permits for the contracts, but the business plans fall apart before Blumenthal and his partners can seek official approval.

Tyler Drumheller (Credit: CBS 60 Minutes)

Tyler Drumheller (Credit: CBS 60 Minutes)

Most of his intelligence appears to come from one of his partners, Tyler Drumheller, who was a CIA official until 2005. It’s not clear where Drumheller gets his information from. Various officials express skepticism about his emails, as they were sometimes based on false rumors. But Clinton continues to encourage Blumenthal with occasional email replies like “Useful insight” or “We should get this around ASAP.” The Times will note that “Blumenthal’s direct line to Mrs. Clinton circumvented the elaborate procedures established by the federal government to ensure that high-level officials are provided with vetted assessments of available intelligence.”

Former CIA official Paul Pillar will later comment that Blumenthal’s sourcing “is pretty sloppy, in a way that would never pass muster if it were the work of a reports officer at a US intelligence agency.” (The New York Times, 5/18/2015) (WikiLeaks, 1/16/2016)

July 22, 2010: An email forwarded to Clinton includes the name and email address of a secret CIA official.

Ben Rhodes (Credit: Carolyn Kaster / The Associated Press

Ben Rhodes (Credit: Carolyn Kaster / The Associated Press

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes sends an email to over a dozen US officials. One name and email address will later be redacted because they are of a secret CIA official. The content and even the subject heading of the email are later completely redacted. Clinton aide Jake Sullivan receives the email and forwards it to Clinton. (US Department of State, 2/13/2016)

July 23, 2010: An email forwarded to Clinton includes the name and email address of at least one secret CIA official.

A US official whose name is later classified sends an email to at least two dozen other US officials. Most of their names will later be classified as well. At least one redacted recipient’s name is that of a secret CIA official. The email concerns a recent WikiLeaks release of classified documents and includes an attachment that has a statement by senior Defense Department officials and relevant talking points. Clinton aide Jake Sullivan forwards the email to Clinton. (US Department of State, 2/26/2016)

July 25, 2010: An email chain forwarded to Clinton includes the name and email address of a secret CIA official.

Julian Assange (Credit: David G. Silver / Flickr)

Julian Assange (Credit: David G. Silver / Flickr)

Clinton aide Jake Sullivan forwards Clinton an email chain that has been discussing the recent releases of classified US government information by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Over 30 US officials are included in the email chain; the name and email address of one of them will later be redacted because that person is a secret CIA official. (US Department of State, 2/13/2016)

August 23, 2010: An email forwarded to Clinton apparently reveals an aide to the leader of Afghanistan is being paid by the CIA.

Dexter Filkins (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Dexter Filkins (Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Matt Lussenhop, a press officer at the US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, sends an email to over a dozen other US officials. The email is sent to Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who emails it to Clinton. Lussenhop’s email concerns an article that New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins is about to get published. Filkins contacted the embassy in Kabul to get quotes for his story, which alleges that Muhammed Zia Salehi, an aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is on the payroll of the CIA. The email is two paragraphs long, but the first paragraph will later be completely redacted and deemed classified at the “secret” level, the level below “top secret.” (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

The article will be published in the Times two days later, on August 25, 2010. (The New York Times, 8/25/2010)

Matt Lussenhop (Credit: public domain)

Matt Lussenhop (Credit: public domain)

In Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview, she will be asked about this email. According to the FBI, “Clinton stated she did not remember the email specifically. [She] stated she was not concerned the displayed email contained classified information [redacted] but stated she had no reason to doubt the judgment of the people working for her on the ‘front lines.'”  (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Salehi was arrested by Afghan police in July 2010, one month before the Times article about him, due to a US government wiretap on him as part of an anti-corruption case. But he was released the next day on the orders of Karzai. In 2013, Foreign Policy will confirm that not only was Salehi working for the CIA, but he actually was an intermediary who was giving secret CIA cash payments to Karzai. (Foreign Policy, 5/4/2013)

Given that this is one of a small number of emails Clinton will be asked about in her FBI interview, as well its classification at the “secret” level, it stands to reason that Lussenhop confirmed Salehi’s CIA connection.

 

September 12, 2010: An email forwarded to Clinton apparently reveals the names and emails of four secret CIA officials.

Judith McHale (Credit: public domain)

Judith McHale (Credit: public domain)

State Department official Mary Sanderson emails over a dozen other officials some analysis about Turkey from the department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). State Department official Judith McHale forwards the email to Clinton and a couple of her aides. Nothing in the analysis will later be deemed classified, but it appears four other recipients of Sanderson’s email are secret CIA officials. (US Department of State, 9/12/2010)

2011: A “top secret” Clinton email contains intelligence from CIA sources and US spy satellites

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency logo. (Credit: public domain)

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency logo. (Credit: public domain)

Very little is known about Clinton’s 22 emails that are later deemed “top secret,” since all details about them have remained classified. However, it is known that one of them is sent sometime this year. A few details about just this one email are known because it will be included in a random selection of 40 emails that will get reviewed by State Department Inspector General Steve Linick in 2015.

After Linick decides the email should be top secret, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will perform a second review and confirm that the email should be top secret. That indicates the email contains information obtained from both CIA sources and US spy satellites. (The New York Times, 9/7/2015) (The New York Times, 2/29/2016)

March 18, 2011: Blumenthal’s intelligence to Clinton is coming from at least one active CIA official.

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email which states, “Tyler spoke to a colleague currently at CIA, who told him the agency had been dependent for intelligence from [redacted].” “Tyler” is Tyler Drumheller, a CIA operative until 2005. (Yahoo, 10/8/2015) Blumenthal sent Clinton hundreds of intelligence updates which appear to be based on information from Drumheller. It’s unclear where Drumheller got his information from, but this email suggests Drumheller was getting information from at least one unnamed active CIA agent.

April 26, 2011: An email forwarded to Clinton includes the name and email address of a secret CIA official who might be in Libya.

Christina Tomlinson (Credit: Linked In)

Christina Tomlinson (Credit: Linked In)

State Department official Christina Tomlinson writes an email about a recent traffic accident involving US Special Envoy Christopher Stephens in Libya that killed four Libyan civilians. The email is sent to over 20 other US officials; most of them appear to have jobs related to the US military effort in the on-going Libyan civil war. The name and email address of one recipient will later be redacted due to that person being a secret CIA official. Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills forwards the email to Clinton. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

May 4, 2011: An email forwarded to Clinton mentions the name and email address of a secret CIA official.

Ben Rhodes (Credit: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)

Ben Rhodes (Credit: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes sends an email to about a dozen other US officials. Many of the names are later redacted, including that of at least one secret CIA official. The email forwards comments from a recent President Obama interview, indicating Obama will not allow any photographs to be released of Osama bin Laden’s dead body. Clinton aide Jake Sullivan forwards the email to Clinton. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

Around June 2011: The State Department gets a say in CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, leading to email trouble for Clinton and others.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter (Credit: India Times)

US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter (Credit: India Times)

For several years, the CIA has been conducting a secret drone program in Pakistan, targeting Islamist militants in the mountainous region near the border with Afghanistan. The Pakistani government has secretly allowed the program while publicly protesting it, because the Pakistani public is mostly against it. In 2011, Pakistani officials push back against the program due to the growing number of strikes and an increasing public backlash.

In June 2011, the Wall Street Journal reports that there is a debate about the scale of the program inside the US government. State Department and military officials argue that the CIA needs to be more selective with their strikes. Also, for the first time, State Department officials are given a say. The CIA begins notifying US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter about planned drone strikes, and this information gets passed up the State Department to Clinton and other top officials. The department then gets to concur or not concur with the strike.

For the rest of Clinton’s tenure until February 2013, the department objects to a planned strike only once or twice. But the strikes will often be discussed by Clinton and other State Department officials in unsecured email channels, and this will later be a focus of the FBI’s Clinton investigation. (The Wall Street Journal, 6/9/2016(The Wall Street Journal, 6/4/2011)

After June 2011 to Late 2012: Clinton and other State Department officials sometimes discuss proposed drone strikes in Pakistan in unsecured emails.

A rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, to condemn US drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas, on October 28, 2011. (Credit: The Associated Press)

A rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, to condemn US drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas, on October 28, 2011. (Credit: The Associated Press)

According to a June 2016 Wall Street Journal article, there are a series of Clinton emails in these two years regarding the US drone program in Pakistan. Starting roughly around June 2011, the State Department is given the right to approve or disapprove of the CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan as part of the US government’s attempt to mollify Pakistan’s concerns so they will continue their secret support of the program.

However, this creates a communication problem, because advanced warning of strikes varies from several days to as little as half an hour. According to the Journal, “Under strict US classification rules, US officials have been barred from discussing strikes publicly and even privately outside of secure communications systems.”

As a result, US intelligence officials want State officials to use a very secure system to discuss the strikes, called JWICS (Joint Worldwide Intelligence Community Systems). But few State officials have access to JWICS, even in Washington, DC, so they use another secure system commonly known as the “high side” (SIPR or, Secret Internet Protocol Router Network).

However, this can be slow as well as difficult to access outside of normal work hours. As a result, according to the Journal, on about a half-dozen different occasions, State officials use the “low side,” which means unsecure computers, such as emailing from a smart phone. This is often said to take place at night, or on the weekend or holiday, or when people are traveling, or when a proposed drone strike is imminent. It is not clear why secure phone lines are not used instead.

The emails are usually vaguely worded so they don’t mention the “CIA,” “drones,” or details about the militant targets, unnamed officials will later claim. These emails sometimes are informal discussions that take place in addition to more formal notifications done through secure communications. In some cases, these emails about specific drone strikes will later be deemed “top secret,” making up many of Clinton’s reported 22 top secret emails.

According to the Journal, unnamed US officials will later say that there “is no evidence Pakistani intelligence officials intercepted any of the low side State Department emails or used them to protect militants.” (The Wall Street Journal, 6/9/2016)

June 6, 2011: An email from a secret CIA official is forwarded to Clinton.

Leon Panetta (Credit: The Associated Press)

Leon Panetta (Credit: The Associated Press)

An unnamed person sends an email to Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills. Classification coding will later indicate the person is a secret CIA official. The entire contents of the short email is: “The Director said that the Secretary [Clinton’s] comments at today’s NSC meeting were outstanding and that he echoed them in spades.” “The Director” is a likely reference to Leon Panetta, the CIA director at the time, and “NSC” stands for “National Security Council.”

Mills forwards the email to Clinton, and Clinton gives a brief reply back to Mills. (US Department of State, 6/6/2011)

September 30, 2011: An email forwarded to Clinton apparently includes the name of a secret CIA official in Pakistan.

A State Department official emails a number of other US officials the transcript of a recent President Obama radio interview. The interview includes important comments on Pakistan, so some of the US officials sent the email are in Pakistan. Apparently, the name of one such recipient will later be redacted because that person is a secret CIA official.

The email is forwarded to Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who forwards it to Clinton. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

October 16, 2011: A Clinton email mentions the name of a secret CIA official.

Douglas Kmiec (Credit: public domain)

Douglas Kmiec (Credit: public domain)

US Ambassador to Malta Douglas Kmiec sends Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills an email meant for Clinton, and Mills forwards it on to her. The email’s subject heading is: “Re: TIME SENSITIVE AND CONFIDENTIAL — Malta Trip Backgrounder for the Secretary — Confidential.” (“Confidential” is the lowest of three US classification levels.) The five-page email gives a general report on the personnel at the US embassy in Malta, plus other information about Malta.

All of the email will later be unredacted, except for one sentence: “The defense attaché there now is new [redacted] beloved and hardworking – and to good effect, patrolling the waters and the ports for drugs, traffickers, and terror related figures.”

The reason given for the redacted portion is the mention of a secret CIA official. As a result, the entire email will later be deemed “secret,” one level higher than “confidential.”

Clinton replies to the email, sending all of the original message to her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin as well. But Clinton only discusses her travel plans, and makes no mention of the CIA official. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016)

November 11, 2011: Clinton is emailed the name of a secret CIA official.

Lona Valmoro (Credit: Eagleton Institute of Politics)

Lona Valmoro (Credit: Eagleton Institute of Politics)

Clinton’s main scheduler Lona Valmoro emails Clinton a list of seven names who will be attending an upcoming meeting. One name will later be redacted with an indicator that it is a secret CIA official. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

December 9, 2011: Another email forwarded to Clinton includes the name and email of a secret CIA official.

Clinton is forwarded an email from her aide Jake Sullivan with the subject heading “Mr. Donilon’s Meeting.” This is a likely reference to National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon. Virtually all the text in the emails in this chain are later redacted. However, emails in the chain are CCed to over 30 US officials, including at least one who is a secret CIA official. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

December 12, 2011: An email to Clinton mentions the name of a secret CIA official who worked for her.

Thomas E. Donilon (Credit: Council On Foreign Relations)

Thomas E. Donilon (Credit: Council On Foreign Relations)

An unnamed CIA official writes an email to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, talking about the end of his tour of duty. He had worked for Clinton in some capacity in the last year. He signs his email “TLG.”

Mills forwards the email to Clinton, and the amount of spacing suggests she mentions his full name in saying that “[redacted] last day is Thursday.”

Clinton merely replies by writing, “He did a good job.”

The name of the CIA official will later be redacted. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

December 16, 2011: Clinton’s daily schedule accidentally reveals the name of a secret CIA official.

State Department official Claire Coleman emails Clinton her daily schedule early in the morning. It mentions a photo opportunity with a person. The person’s name will later be redacted, but the context makes it clear it is the secret CIA official who gives her a daily intelligence briefing.

The New York Times will later report, “That email was originally released as ‘confidential’ but upgraded to ‘secret,’ probably reflecting that the person holds an undercover position now.” (US Department of State, 1/29/2016) (The New York Times, 5/10/2016

Clinton sends a reply which is also classified at the “secret” level. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

March 14, 2012: An email forwarded to Clinton appears to reveal the secret identity of the CIA director’s chief of staff.

Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, forwards to Clinton an email with the subject heading: “URGENT — From Dave Petraeus’s Chief of Staff…” The name of the sender of the original email will later be redacted because it mentions the name of a secret CIA official. However, the subject heading logically suggests the sender is the chief of staff of CIA Director David Petraeus. The original email is sent at 4:44 a.m., suggesting it is quite urgent.

Parts of the email chain are later redacted due to containing “foreign government information” as additional mentions of secret CIA officials, although it’s unclear if all of these are the same person. Emails in the chain are too heavily redacted to be understood, although it might relate to security protocols, because Mills makes the comment, “I do want to discuss this situation as it will reoccur and we have protocols that we follow that I welcome covering with you.”

The email will later be classified at the “secret” level, which is the medium classification level, although it is not clear how much of this is due to the mention of a secret CIA name or names and how much is due to the urgent content in the emails. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016) 

Clinton replies to Mills at 6:49 a.m., presumably just after arriving to work, agreeing to receive a phone call from Mills about the matter a short time later. Clinton’s reply email will also be later deemed “secret,” because it includes all of the previous emails in the chain. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016)

March 25, 2012: An email to Clinton mentions the name of a secret CIA official.

Marc Grossman (Credit: public domain)

Marc Grossman (Credit: public domain)

State Department official Christina Tomlinson sends Clinton aide Jake Sullivan an email entitled “MG-Z in Dushanbe.” Sullivan then forwards it to Clinton. Other Clinton emails indicate that “MG” is a reference to US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman. Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan. Different portions of Tomlinson’s email will be deemed classified for various reasons. But one section is classified because it mentions the name of a secret CIA official. As a result, the entire email will later be deemed “secret,” the middle classification level. There is no apparent response from Clinton. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016)

September 12, 2012: An email from Sid Blumenthal to Clinton suggests that some of the intelligence he frequently sends her are simply forwards of emails from former CIA official Tyler Drumheller.

An email from Sid Blumenthal to Clinton on September 12, 2012. (Credit: US Department of State)

An email from Sid Blumenthal to Clinton on September 12, 2012. (Credit: US Department of State)

Blumenthal writes to Clinton, “Sending direct. Just in,” above a forward of an email from Drumheller’s email address about Libya just one day after the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

The Drumheller email cites “sensitive sources” in Libya and says the Benghazi terrorist attack one day earlier was the work of Ansar al-Shariah, a group with ties to al-Qaeda. It details evidence that the group had planned the attacks for a month and used a nearby protest against an anti-Islamic YouTube video as cover.

Clinton forwards the email to her aide Jake Sullivan, writing, “We should get this around ASAP.”

This email will later cause much trouble for Clinton, because the information in it contradicts the Obama administration’s narrative at the time that the protesters had caused the attacks. It also contradicts another email sent by Blumenthal only a few hours after the attacks which said the attacks had been caused by the protesters. Given that Drumheller retired from the CIA in 2005, it is not known where he got his information. (The New York Times, 5/22/2015) (Politico, 5/21/2015)

September 14, 2012: Clinton is forwarded an email written by a secret CIA official.

Clinton and Obama attend the Transfer of Remains Ceremony for the four Americans killed in the Benghazi terrorist attack, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on September 14, 2012. (Credit: Molly Riley / Getty Images)

Clinton and Obama attend the Transfer of Remains Ceremony for the four Americans killed in the Benghazi terrorist attack, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on September 14, 2012. (Credit: Molly Riley / Getty Images)

An unnamed person sends an email to Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills. Later classification coding will indicate the sender is a secret CIA official. The email refer to an “amazing service” and “difficult ceremony”—a likely reference to the memorial earlier that day of the four US citizens killed in the Benghazi terrorist attacks two days earlier. The brief email also tells Mills, “Second, we are now in the process of sending you the classified cables the Secretary and/or you requested.” It is signed by “RS.” Mills forwards the email to Clinton. (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

 Clinton responds by forwarding the email to another aide with the comment, “Pls [Please] print.” (US Department of State, 11/30/2015)

September 15, 2012—October 17, 2012: A mysterious email somehow related to talking points and the Benghazi attack mentions the name of a secret CIA official.

On September 15, 2012, an email from an redacted name is sent to about a dozen other redacted names. The only email recipient whose name is later unredacted is Clinton aide Jake Sullivan. Classification codes indicate that at least one of the many redacted names is a secret CIA official. The entire contents of the email will later be redacted except for the first two sentences: “Per the discussion at Deputies, here are the revised TPs for HPSCI. Let me know what you think.” “Deputies” is a likely reference to deputy cabinet members; “TPs” is a likely abbreviation of “talking points,” and “HPSCI” stands for the “House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.”

On September 27, Sullivan forwards the email to Clinton.

On October 17, Clinton finally replies, “Pls [Please] print.”

Clinton’s email will first be released to the House Benghazi Committee, indicating its content is somehow related to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. (US Department of State, 5/13/2015)

September 23, 2012: An email chain involving Clinton includes the name and email address of a secret CIA official.

Victoria Nuland (Credit: Voice of America)

Victoria Nuland (Credit: Voice of America)

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland starts an email chain about an imminent New York Times article written by Eric Schmitt that could mention a particular CIA annex. The email is sent to a handful of Clinton’s top aides.

Soon, a secret CIA official joins in the email chain, despite not being sent the original email.

A later email in the chain from this CIA official (or possibly another one) reveals the New York Times backs down and agrees to changes to the article, including not mentioning details about the CIA annex.

Parts of Clinton’s email will later be deemed classified due to the mention of at least one secret CIA official’s name and email address earlier in the chain. (US Department of State, 12/31/2015) 

That evening, The New York Times publishes an article written by Eric Schmitt and two others called, “Deadly Attack in Libya Was Major Blow to CIA Efforts.” (The New York Times, 9/23/2012)

September 24, 2012: An email forwarded to Clinton mentions the name and email address of a secret CIA official.

Rexon Y. Ryu (credit: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

Rexon Y. Ryu (credit: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

State Department official Rexon Y. Ryu sends an email to about a dozen other US officials, mostly also in the State Department. He says, “All – below is a conversation that Salman Ahmed had with Lakhdar Brahimi on Sunday. Ask that you keep this closehold, given the frankness of his comments.”

Salman Ahmed is a US senior policy advisor, and Lakhdar Brahimi is the United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria. The email discusses the civil war in Syria, and large portions of it will later be redacted. But most notably, the name and email address of one recipient of Ryu’s email will be redacted because that person is a secret CIA official.

Clinton aide Jake Sullivan is another recipient, and he forwards the email to Clinton. (US Department of State, 2/13/2016)

October 13, 2012: Clinton receives an email that reveals undercover CIA officers use State Department cover in Afghanistan.

Jeremy Bash (left) Leon Panetta (right) (Credits: public domain)

Jeremy Bash (left) Leon Panetta (right) (Credits: public domain)

Jeremy Bash, who is chief of staff to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the time, sends an email to four other US officials, including Clinton aides Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills. Sullivan then forwards the email to Clinton. The email has the subject heading: “This a.m. Green on Blue.” That is an idiom referring to when police attacks soldiers. The email refers to an Afghan police officer triggering a suicide vest and killing or wounding 14 Americans or Afghans, including one dead American.

The email will later be classified at the “secret” level, suggesting some important classified information in it, but its redactions make it difficult to understand. There is no indication of a reply from Clinton. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016)

In Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview, she will be specifically asked about this email, again suggesting something unusual about it. However, her answer will also be heavily reacted. For instance, “Clinton believed she would be speculating if she were to state what [redacted] meant when he referred to [redacted].” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Dario Lorenzetti (public domain)

Dario Lorenzetti (public domain)

On February 4, 2016, NBC News will reveal that the email concerns undercover CIA officer Dario Lorenzetti. He died in the suicide attack described in the email. Lorenzetti’s CIA connection was leaked to the media by anonymous officials four days after his death and was widely reported in the news media, although his CIA cover was not lifted until later.

According to NBC News, in the redacted portions of the email, it seems Bash was trying “to preserve the CIA officer’s cover. But some of the language he used, now that Lorenzetti is known to have been a CIA officer, could be read as a US government acknowledgement that CIA officers pose as State Department personnel in a specific country, Afghanistan — something widely known but not formally admitted.” This is why the email is classified at the “secret” level.

Bash ends the email by instructing a CIA spokesperson to “please lash up with [redacted].” NBC News will indicate the missing word is “presumably either the spy agency or one of its employees.” (NBC News, 2/4/2016)

This may be the phrase that the FBI asked Clinton about, and to which she replied that “she would be speculating if she were to state what [redacted] meant when he referred to [redacted].” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

NBC News will also interview Bash about this email. Bash will claim that the email “did not reference the individual’s name, employer, nor any identifying description or information.” Additionally, once the CIA posthumously lifted Lorenzetti’s cover, “the original unclassified email could be read to confirm the general use of cover, prompting the redactions we now see. But any suggestion that this email contained confirmation about the person or his cover, or any inappropriate information, is flat wrong.” (NBC News, 2/4/2016)

October 22, 2012: A CIA official goes to prison for giving classified information to a reporter.

John Kiriakou (Credit: The Associated Press)

John Kiriakou (Credit: The Associated Press)

CIA officer John Kiriakou pleads guilty to disclosing classified information about a covert CIA officer that connected that person to a specific operation. Kiriakou is actually a whistleblower helping to expose the CIA’s torture of some prisoners. He is the first CIA officer to be convicted for passing classified information to a reporter, even though the reporter didn’t publish the name of the operative. He is sentenced to 30 months in prison. (BBC, 2/28/2013) (The New York Times, 1/5/2013)

Between November 2012 and March 15, 2013: Blumenthal’s CIA source may want to sell US intelligence to the new Libyan government.

Libya Prime Minister Ali Zeidan (Credit: Reuters)

Libya Prime Minister Ali Zeidan (Credit: Reuters)

Former CIA official Tyler Drumheller sends a letter to Ali Zeidan, the new Prime Minister of Libya. The letter will later be found in one of Sid Blumenthal’s emails due to his inbox getting broken into by the hacker nicknamed Guccifer.

The letter is undated, but must be from between November 2012 when Zeidan became prime minister, and March 15, 2013, when Blumenthal’s emails were hacked. Drumheller offers the services of his private company “Tyler Drumheller LLC,” to “provide discreet confidential information allowing the appropriate entities in Libya to address any regional and international challenges.” He says his information “is based on the experience of senior officials drawn from the highest levels of the American intelligence, security, and political communities.”

Since Clinton became secretary of state in 2009, Drumheller appears to have been sending CIA and NSA intelligence to Blumenthal, who then forwards it to Clinton. It’s not clear how Drumheller gets this information, since he left the CIA in 2005.

The response from Zeidan is unknown. (Gawker, 3/27/2015) (Gawker, 3/27/2015)

November 10, 2012: An email to Clinton inadvertently mentions the name of a secret CIA official.

Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan (Credit: public domain)

Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan (Credit: public domain)

One day after David Petraeus resigns as CIA director due to media reports that he had improperly handled classified information, Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan sends an email to National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon detailing the provisions for Petraeus’s personal security due to his unexpected resignation.

Donilon then forwards it to Clinton, commenting, “Madam Secretary – Attached is an update on the security for Dave P.”

All of Brennan’s email will later be redacted and classified at the “confidential” level on the grounds that it involves “vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, infrastructures, projects, plans, or protection services relating to the national security.” But another reason given for that classification is that it mentions the name of a secret CIA officer.

There is no apparent reply from Clinton. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016) (The New York Times, 5/10/2016)

January 23, 2013: Another email forwarded to Clinton contains the name and email address of a CIA official.

Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the attacks against the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on January 23, 2013. (Credit: Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

Hillary Clinton testifies before the Congress on the attacks against the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on January 23, 2013. (Credit: Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills forwards Clinton’s recent Congressional testimony about the US response to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. One of the handful of people Mills forwards the email to is a secret CIA official, so the name and email address of that person will later be redacted.

Mills then forwards the email chain to Clinton. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

April 23, 2015: Petraeus is given a remarkably lenient plea bargain despite his serious security violations.

CIA Director David Petraeus (Credit: public domain)

CIA Director David Petraeus (Credit: public domain)

A federal judge sentences former CIA director and general David Petraeus to two years of probation and a $100,000 fine for giving his biographer and lover, Paula Broadwell, access to notebooks, classified information about official meetings, war strategy, and intelligence capabilities. Petraeus had been the CIA director from 2011 to 2012, but he was forced to quit due to the scandal. (The New York Times, 4/23/2015) 

The FBI seeks jail time for him, but doesn’t get it due to the plea bargain with the Justice Department. The New York Times will later report that FBI Director James Comey made the case to Attorney General Eric Holder that “Mr. Petraeus deserved to face strenuous charges. But the Justice Department overruled the FBI, and the department allowed Mr. Petraeus to plead guilty to a misdemeanor.” (The New York Times, 10/16/2015) The sentence is considered surprisingly light, given the evidence.

In 2016, the Washington Post will report, “FBI officials were angered by the deal and predicted it would affect the outcome of other cases involving classified information.” One former US law enforcement official will complain the deal “was handled so lightly for his offense there isn’t a whole lot you can do.” (The Washington Post, 3/2/2016)

May 11, 2015: A former CIA official is sentenced to prison for giving the name of a CIA asset to a reporter.

Jeffrey Sterling (Credit: Gawker)

Jeffrey Sterling (Credit: Gawker)

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling is sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He was convicted of nine criminal counts for leaking classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen in 2003. Prosecutors claimed it was a plot to embarrass the CIA, after he was fired from the agency in 2002. However, others have seen him as a whistleblower. It was alleged that in 2003, Sterling revealed information about a CIA operation to harm Iran’s nuclear program by having a scientist provide Iran with intentionally flawed nuclear component schematics. However, Risen wrote in a 2006 book that the operation was mismanaged and may have inadvertently aided Iran. Sterling also revealed his concerns about the program to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2003.

US District Judge Leonie Brinkema says Sterling caused damage by effectively revealing the identity of someone working for the CIA, and “If you do knowingly reveal these secrets, there’s going to be a price to be paid.” (The Washington Post, 5/11/2015) (The New York Times, 1/26/2015)

May 15, 2015: Former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morrell says he believes some foreign intelligence agencies possess the contents of Clinton’s private email server.

Deputy CIA Director Michael Morrell (Credit: Time)

Deputy CIA Director Michael Morrell (Credit: Time)

He says, “I think that foreign intelligence services, the good ones, have everything on any unclassified network that the government uses.” (Politico, 5/15/2015) Morrell was acting CIA director twice under President Obama before retiring in 2013.

June 16, 2015: Blumenthal was passing unvetted intelligence from a retired CIA official directly to Clinton.

The Osprey Global Solutions logo (Credit: Osprey Global Solutions)

The Osprey Global Solutions logo (Credit: Osprey Global Solutions)

Although Sid Blumenthal testifies before the House Benghazi Committee in a secret session, a Politico article later on the same day as his testimony reveals some of what he says.

Blumenthal, a journalist and private citizen with no security clearance, frequently wrote emails to Clinton that contained detailed intelligence assessments from various parts of the world, especially Libya. Blumenthal reportedly tells the committee that he doesn’t write or even know the ultimate source of any of his Libyan intelligence he sent to Clinton. Instead, he was copying and pasting memos from Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA operative. Blumenthal and Drumheller were involved in a Libya-related business opportunity called Osprey Global Solutions.

Trey Gowdy (R), head of the committee, says, “One of the folks providing [Clinton] the largest volume of information was simply and merely a conduit of someone who may have had business interest in Libya. We have a CIA, so why would you not rely on your own vetted source intelligence agency? In this case, there was no vetting, no analysis of credibility whatsoever.”

Blumenthal claims his advice was unsolicited and he wasn’t being paid for passing on the information. Committee investigators say Blumenthal’s emails about Libya make up more than a third of all of Clinton’s Libya-related emails.

And although Blumenthal was being paid $120,000 a year as an adviser to The Clinton Foundation, he says his salary there “had nothing whatsoever to do with my emails to my friend” Clinton. He also claims the Libyan business venture with Drumheller was a “humanitarian-assistance idea for medical care in which I had little involvement, never got off the ground, in which no money was ever exchanged, no favor sought and which had nothing to do with my sending these emails.” (Politico, 6/16/2015) 

Drumheller will die of pancreatic cancer on August 2, 2015, a month and a half later. It’s unclear if he’s questioned by investigators before his death. If Blumenthal got most or all of his intelligence from Drumheller, it’s unclear where Drumheller got it from, since his 25-year CIA career ended in 2005. (The Washington Post, 8/16/2015)

August 2, 2015: Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA officer, dies at 63 years of age of pancreatic cancer.

Tyler Drumheller (Credit: C-Span)

Tyler Drumheller (Credit: C-Span)

Although Drumheller retired from the CIA in 2005 after 25 years of service, he seems to have had access to intelligence information that got passed on to Clinton through emails sent to her by private citizen Sid Blumenthal. Drumheller and Blumenthal were business partners at least in 2011, and there are suspicions that during Clinton’s time as secretary of state, Blumenthal essentially ran a private intelligence service for Clinton using information from Drumheller. (The New York Times, 8/2/2015)

John Schindler, a former NSA counterintelligence officer, will later claim that Drumheller “was never particularly popular at CIA and he left Langley under something of a cloud. His emails to Mr. Blumenthal, which were forwarded to Ms. Clinton, were filled with espionage-flavored information about events in Libya. In many cases, Mr. Drumheller’s reports were formatted to look exactly like actual CIA reports, including attribution to named foreign intelligence agencies. How much of this was factual versus Mr. Drumheller embellishing his connections is unclear.” Schindler adds that answers to questions about Drumheller’s role may never be known due to his death. (The New York Observer, 10/19/2015)

August 19, 2015: Former CIA and NSA director Hayden says Clinton’s behavior was “stupid,” “dangerous,” and probably illegal.

Michael Hayden, who was appointed director of the NSA by President Bill Clinton and then director of the CIA by President George W. Bush, says that Hillary Clinton’s “original sin is actually co-mingling [her] two accounts and not using a government e-mail server. […] [P]ut legality aside just for a second, it’s stupid and dangerous. […] Dangerous to her and to the Republic and to American secrets. But… I don’t even think it was legal. That has to be against policy. Look, most folks like me, I never had a smart phone until I left government because of the sensitivity of the information I would put on there even if it were unclassified.” (MSNBC, 8/19/2015)

September 7, 2015: A second intelligence review of two Clinton emails endorses the finding that they contained highly classified information when she received them.

CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Credit: The Library of Congress)

CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Credit: The Library of Congress)

Clinton and some in the State Department claimed that a report by Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough was wrong that the emails should have been deemed “top secret.” So a special review was done by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and that review confirmed that the emails should have been considered “top secret.”

Little is known about the two emails, since no parts of them have been released, but one is from 2009 and the other is from 2011. One of them relates to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. (The New York Times, 9/7/2015)

After more months of inter-departmental debate, in February 2016 the email about North Korea will be downgraded to “secret” and partially released, but the other one will stay “top secret.” (The New York Times, 2/29/2016)

October 7, 2015—October 18, 2015: Claims that a Clinton email revealed the name of a CIA asset could be incorrect.

Representative Elijah Cummings (Credit: public domain)

Representative Elijah Cummings (Credit: public domain)

On October 7, 2015, Representative Trey Gowdy (R), the chair of the House Benghazi Committee, releases an excerpt of a Clinton email that he claims shows Clinton mentioned the identity of a top Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) intelligence source in Libya. The March 18, 2011, email between Clinton and Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal states, “Tyler spoke to a colleague currently at CIA, who told him the agency had been dependent for intelligence from [redacted due to sources and methods].” “Tyler” is Tyler Drumheller, a CIA operative until 2005.

Gowdy claims the redaction in that sentence is “the name of a human source.” He adds, “Armed with that information, Secretary Clinton forwarded the email to a colleague—debunking her claim that she never sent any classified information from her private email address.” (Yahoo, 10/8/2015) (House Benghazi Committee, 10/7/2015) 

However, eleven days later, Newsweek reports that CIA has informed the committee that it reviewed 127 emails between Clinton and Sid Blumenthal, including that one, and none of them were deemed classified. Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the committee, criticizes Gowdy for making inaccurate claims: “The problem with your accusation, as with so many others during this investigation, is that you failed to check your facts before you made it, and the CIA has now informed the [Benghazi] Committee that you were wrong.” (Newsweek, 10/18/2015

It does not appear the committee has released more text of the email in question since.

January 14, 2016: Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough states that some of Clinton’s private emails contained information that was classified above “top secret.”

He asserts in a letter to Congress that an unnamed intelligence agency has made a sworn declaration that “several dozen emails [had been] determined by the [Intelligence Community] element to be at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, and TOP SECRET/SAP levels.” “SAP” stands for “special access program,” and the New York Times says that they are “often intelligence-gathering programs and other secret programs run by the Pentagon and the CIA that are among the government’s most closely guarded secrets.”

Other intelligence officials say that the several dozen emails do not include two emails classified top secret taken from a random sample of 40 of Clinton’s emails. (The New York Times, 1/19/2016) (NBC News, 1/19/2016) 

It will later be reported that 22 of Clinton’s emails were deemed “top secret,” including one from the random sample of 40 emails, with many more classified “secret” or “confidential.”

January 20, 2016: A former CIA official says Clinton’s top secret emails “absolutely, without question” could have gotten people killed.

Charles Faddis (Credit: Pro Publica)

Charles Faddis (Credit: Pro Publica)

In a Fox News interview, former CIA operations officer Charles Faddis explains how ‘top secret” and especially SAP or “special access program” intelligence is kept separate from all other intelligence: “There is zero ambiguity here. None. Hard copy, electronic, it is clearly marked. If it’s electronic, you’re probably accessing it in a completely separate channel. So not all one stream where everything is mixed together.”

He adds that “the reason this stuff is in this channel is because it’s going to do incredible damage to US national security if it gets out in the open.”

Asked if a leak of the top secret intelligence sent to Clinton’s private email would cost lives, he replies, “Absolutely, without question.”

And when asked what would have happened if he had sent such information to an unsecure email account, he replies, “My career’s over, I lose my clearance, I lose my job, and then I go to prison, probably for a very long time.” (Fox News, 1/20/2016)

February 1, 2016: Some of Clinton’s 22 “top secret” emails allegedly contain “operational intelligence” involving espionage sources and methods.

John Schindler, a former National Security Agency (NSA) counterintelligence officer, claims that, “Discussions with Intelligence Community officials have revealed that Ms. Clinton’s ‘unclassified’ emails included Holy Grail items of American espionage such as the true names of Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] intelligence officers serving overseas under cover. Worse, some of those exposed are serving under non-official cover. […] At a minimum, valuable covers have been blown, careers have been ruined, and lives have been put at serious risk.” Additionally, some names of foreigners who are on the CIA payroll are mentioned.

One unnamed senior Intelligence Community official says that because of the likelihood that foreign governments have accessed all of Clinton’s emails, “It’s a death sentence. If we’re lucky, only agents, not our officers, will get killed because of this.”

Schindler comments, “Her defense seems to be that neither she nor anybody on her staff were able to recognize that top secret information was actually top secret, which is hardly a ringing endorsement of Hillary’s qualifications to be our next commander-in-chief.” (The New York Observer, 2/1/2016)

Four days later, a NBC News article comments on the same topic with more modest claims. According to unnamed US officials, the references to undercover officers were indirect and Clinton made no comment about them.

The article adds, “Some of the references to covert intelligence officers, and other discussions of CIA drone strikes, were against classification rules and were ‘sloppy,’ one official said. But views are split on whether they were damaging to national security.” (NBC News, 2/4/2016)

February 4, 2016: A handful of publicly released Clinton emails make indirect or veiled references to undercover CIA officers.

For instance, a CIA officer is referred to as a “State” Department official, with the quote marks suggesting the person is not actually a diplomat. Another email refers to “OGA,” which stands for “other government agency” and is a common pseudonym within government circles for the CIA. NBC News notes, “The messages at issue are part of a longstanding pattern of senior officials at the State Department and other government agencies trying to talk around classified information over email, sometimes unsuccessfully.” (NBC News, 2/4/2016)

May 5, 2016: “Rocket docket” prosecutors are working with the FBI on the Clinton investigation.

Federal Prosecutor Dana Boente (Credit: public domain

Federal Prosecutor Dana Boente (Credit: public domain

It is reported that FBI investigators looking into Clinton’s email scandal have been joined by prosecutors from the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia. The district is commonly nicknamed the “rocket docket” for the speed with which cases move through it. It is home to the CIA and the Pentagon, so it often deals with national security and terrorism cases. The office is led by veteran federal prosecutor Dana Boente. Prosecutors from the office have been working with the FBI to interview Clinton’s top aides. (The Washington Post, 5/5/2016)

May 10, 2016: The New York Times reports that 18 of Clinton’s publicly released emails have been deemed classified on the grounds that they identified CIA officials.

The Times claims that, “In 18 emails, for example, information has been classified on the grounds that it identifies CIA officials, including two instances that are now considered “secret.” (The New York Times, 5/10/2016) 

However, this is not entirely accurate. A search of the State Department’s database of Clinton’s released emails indicates that 49 emails used the code “B3 CIA PERS/ORG,” which indicates a redacted mention of secret CIA personnel or organizational details. Many of these are emails from the same email chain. But there are in fact five separate chains mentioning the name of a CIA official classified at the “secret” level, not two. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016) (US Department of State, 2/29/2016) (US Department of State, 1/29/2016) (US Department of State, 1/29/2016) (US Department of State, 1/29/2016

There are 17 more separate email chains that have the redacted names of secret CIA officials, for a total of 22, not 18. Additionally, it has previously been reported that a “handful” of additional emails make veiled references to the fact that certain government officials actually work for the CIA. (NBC News, 2/4/2016)

May 25, 2016: A former senior State Department military adviser claims Clinton’s “sloppy communications with her senior staff” may have compromised at least two counterterrorism operations.

Wanted Poster for terrorist Umbra Jumdail a.k.a. Dr. Abu (Credit: NBC News)

Wanted Poster for terrorist Umbra Jumdail a.k.a. Dr. Abu (Credit: NBC News)

Bill Johnson was the department’s political adviser to the special operations section of the US Pacific Command (PACOM) from 2010 to 2011, after a long military career. He says secret plans targeting Umbra Jumdail, the leader of a Filipino Islamist separatist group, as well as plans to intercept Chinese-made weapons components being smuggled into Iraq, were both repeatedly foiled.

He claims that he and his team determined unprotected phone calls of Clinton and her aides were the likely problem, after eliminating other possibilities. Johnson says, “I had several missions that went inexplicably wrong, with the targets one step ahead of us.” For instance, his target Jumdail in the Philippines was repeatedly tipped off. He traced the problem to unsecure communications between Washington, DC, and the US embassy in Manila. “Anyone can just sit outside the embassy and listen” with off-the-shelf eavesdropping devices, he claims.

He argues that the leaks stopped after Special Operations Command stopped giving advance warning to senior State Department officials about the raids. Jumdail was killed in a US-based airstrike not long thereafter.

Johnson says such problems “could’ve been avoided if the CIA gave her a secure phone. She requested one, but they turned it down.”

A Clinton spokesperson calls the allegations “patently false.” (Newsweek, 5/25/2016)

June 9, 2016: The Wall Street Journal reports that “a series of emails between American diplomats in [Pakistan and the US] about whether to oppose specific drone strikes in Pakistan” is “at the center” and are a “key part” of the FBI’s Clinton investigation.

Data compiled for drone strikes in Pakistan from 2009 - 2012. (Credit: The Bureau Investigates)

Data compiled for drone strikes in Pakistan from 2009 – 2012. (Credit: The Bureau Investigates)

The emails are sent in 2011 and 2012, the last two years of Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, after a secret agreement that gave the State Department a say in whether a CIA drone strike took place. This is “according to Congressional and law-enforcement officials briefed” on the FBI’s investigation. Some emails were then forwarded to Clinton, despite her exclusive use of an unapproved private server for all her emails. The Journal cites one email chain from December 23, 2011 discussing a planned drone strike that was later released as one of Clinton’s emails but highly redacted.

However, out of Clinton’s 22 emails deemed “top secret,” the Journal claims that “many of them dealt with whether [State Department officials] concurred or not with the CIA drone strikes, Congressional and law-enforcement officials said.”

The Journal comments, “Beyond the [presidential] campaign implications, the investigation exposes the latest chapter in a power struggle that pits the enforcers of strict secrecy, including the FBI and CIA, against some officials at the State Department and other agencies who want a greater voice in the use of lethal force around the globe, because of the impact it has on broader U.S. policy goals.” (The Wall Street Journal, 6/9/2016) 

The Journal does not question why Clinton and her staff did not use other options, such as secure phone lines, instead of personal smart phones for quick communication.

But a few days later, former NSA John Schindler will comment, “As the secretary of state, Ms. Clinton and her top staff had access to classified communications systems 24 hours a day. They chose not to use them here—a choice that clearly violated federal law.” (The New York Observer, 6/15/2016)

July 5, 2016: The FBI says Clinton both sent and received emails in seven above “top secret” email chains.

Although FBI Director James Comey announces he will not recommend an indictment of Clinton, comments in his public speech reveal information that could be very politically damaging for Clinton. It was previously known that Clinton’s emails contained 22 “top secret” emails in seven different email chains. However, Comey reveals, “Those chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending and receiving emails about those same matters.”

This contradicts previous news reports that Clinton had only been the recipient of “top secret” emails. Comey also says that seven email chains contain “top secret / special access program” (TP/SAP) information, which is above top secret, plus one more previously unknown email chain at the “top secret” level. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 7/5/2016)

The New York Times notes, “Those emails have been widely reported to include information about the Central Intelligence Agency’s program to use drones to track and kill terrorism suspects. … Only a small number of officials are allowed access to those programs, which are the nation’s most sensitive intelligence operations.”

Another 36 chains were “secret,” which means it includes information that “could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.” Eight more chains had information classified at the “confidential” level.

The Times comments that Comey’s speech “was, arguably, the worst possible good news Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign could have hoped for: no criminal charges, but a pointed refutation of statements like one she flatly made last August,” when she said, “I did not send classified material.” (The New York Times, 7/5/2016) (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 7/5/2016)