August 28, 2009: A Blumenthal email to Clinton apparently names a secret US intelligence official and later will be almost totally redacted.

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends an email to Clinton and Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills that is almost entirely later redacted. The subject heading is redacted, and the entire text of the two-page email is redacted except for two words: “Confidential,” and “From.”

However, the spacing of redacted lines indicates the name after the word “From” is redacted due to a code indicating that person secretly works for the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), or NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency). The rest of the text is redacted due to that same code and a code regarding the violation of personal privacy.

Mills then replies to Blumenthal and Clinton, “Is it true that [redacted] would be nominated for Amb [Ambassador]? First I’ve heard about it is this email.” Clinton, Mills, and Blumenthal then send more brief emails to each other relating to a possible ambassador nomination for this person. (US Department of State, 2/26/2016) (US Department of State, 2/29/2016) (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

October 27, 2009: Talking points sent to Clinton could disclose confidential sources and investigation techniques.

US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma (Credit: public domain)

US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma (Credit: public domain)

Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills sends Clinton an email that mainly contains a document with the title “Talking Points for US Ambassador to India and the US Ambassador to Pakistan.” Mills also includes the comment, “You are getting separate points coming high side through [Clinton aide] Jake [Sullivan].” The “high side” is the nickname for sending information through a classified system.

However, the talking points sent by Mills will later be entirely redacted. Six different classification codes will be used to justify redacting all the text, including information that could “interfere with [law] enforcement proceedings,” “disclose confidential sources,” and “disclose investigation techniques.” There is no apparent email reply from Clinton. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

November 12, 2009: Blumenthal reveals the name of an official secretly working for a US intelligence agency in an email to Clinton.

"A Bright Shining Lie" is an HBO Vietnam war documentary based on a story by Major General John Paul Vann. (Credit: HBO)

“A Bright Shining Lie” is an HBO Vietnam war documentary based on a story by Major General John Paul Vann. (Credit: HBO)

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the subject heading “Re: Afghanistan strategy” that he marks “Confidential.”

The bulk of the email contains two documents written by others for Clinton. Blumenthal comments, “One is a memo from [redacted] who served in the counter-insurgency program in Vietnam with John Paul Vann.” The name of this person will later be redacted, and the redaction code indicates this person secretly works for the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), or NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency).

The rest of the email is not redacted except when this person’s name is mentioned. (US Department of State, 12/31/2015) 

Clinton responds the next day with the comment, “Thx [Thanks] so much for sending.” (US Department of State, 12/31/2015)

April 24, 2010: A Blumenthal email appears to reveal details of a US criminal investigation in Kyrgyzstan and will later be classified at the “secret” level.

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Bob Blake (Credit: The Hundu)

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Bob Blake (Credit: The Hundu)

Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal sends Clinton an email with the subject heading: “Kyrgyzstan Update.” He also marks it “Confidential.” It starts with [redacted] “my friend with deep contacts in Kyrgyzstan and who testified this week on the latest developments there before the House Oversight Committee, has sent me a memo containing important new information and including some recommendations.”

Three pages of analysis from this friend about recent developments in Kyrgyzstan follow, and virtually all of it will be later unredacted. However, there is a section with the title “Criminal Investigation Targeting” [redacted]. That section is later redacted due to four classification codes, including “foreign relations or foreign activities of the US including confidential sources,” and information that could “disclose investigative techniques.” Due to this section, the email will later be classified at the “secret” level, the level below “top secret.”

Clinton sends three emails in response. One is to Blumenthal, thanking him and his friend. Another is to an aide to print the email. A third email goes to Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Bob Blake and two others, asking for their assessment.

All of these emails are later deemed “secret” as well, since they contain Blumenthal’s original email. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016) (US Department of State, 2/29/2016(US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

July 10, 2010: An email forwarded to Clinton mentions the name of a secret Defense Department official.

Carlos Pascual (Credit: The Associated Press)

Carlos Pascual (Credit: The Associated Press)

Carlos Pascual, a State Department official based in Mexico City, writes an email meant to be passed to Clinton discussing US government assistance to Mexico after Hurricane Alex. The subject heading and more text in the email will later be redacted with a code indicating the mention of a name of a secret Defense Department official. The message is forwarded to email, but there’s no apparent reply from her. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

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.

 

2011: One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains begins with an email written by Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves two “top secret” emails. The first is sent by Clinton to her aide Jake Sullivan, and the second is Sullivan’s reply. The content of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

2011: One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains includes three emails written by Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves seven “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email from Clinton’s aide Jake Sullivan to Clinton. It goes back and forth, with three emails from Clinton to Sullivan, and three more emails from Sullivan to Clinton. The content of the emails remains unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

2011: One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains includes one email written by Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves two “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email written by an unnamed State Department official. It makes its way to Sullivan, who forwards it to Clinton. Clinton then sends a reply to Sullivan. The contents of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

2011: One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains includes two emails written by Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves five “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email from Clinton’s aide Jake Sullivan to Clinton. The chain goes back and forth, with two emails from Clinton to Sullivan, and two more emails from Sullivan to Clinton. The contents of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

2011: One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains ends with an email sent by Jake Sullivan to Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2011, and involves two “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email written by an unnamed State Department official. It makes its way to Sullivan, who forwards it to Clinton. There is no known reply from Clinton. The contents of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

April 10, 2011: An email to Clinton mentions the name of a secret Defense Department official.

Clinton aide Jake Sullivan sends Clinton a three-page email that will later be entirely redacted except for one line that appears to summarize the contents: “Sharpening the Aims and Execution of the Coalition Mission in Libya.”

The sole line prior to this one will later be redacted according to a classification code indicating it reveals the name of a secret official working for the Defense Department. Clinton apparently does not send a reply. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

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)

July 13, 2011: An email forwarded to Clinton apparently details how a terrorist attack on the water supply to New York City could succeed.

Becatech, Ltd. Logo (Credit: public domain)

Becatech, Ltd. Logo (Credit: public domain)

Simon Stringer is the CEO of Becatech Ltd., a company that specializes in securing water supplies from terrorist attacks. Stringer sends an email to State Department official Marty Torrey, who has asked him some security questions. The vast majority of Stringer’s two-page reply will later be redacted, and according to classification coding, it contains information that could “endanger life or physical safety of any individual.”

Several sentences that remain indicate he is talking about a hypothetical terrorist attack on New York City, and that unless preventative action is taken, the US could potentially lose “significant numbers of people.”

Torrey forwards the email to Clinton, and she asks for it to be printed out. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

August 18–19, 2011: Emails forwarded to Clinton contain two names and information relating to US intelligence agencies.

Deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Goldberger (Credit: public domain)

Deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Goldberger (Credit: public domain)

A State Department official named Matthew Eussen sends an email to over two dozen other US officials about the latest violent developments between Israeli and Palestinian forces in Gaza. Two of the names sent the email will later be redacted, and the redaction code indicates those people secretly work for the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), or NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency).

The next day, another State Department official, Thomas Goldberger, replies with more details, and this email is sent to the same group of US officials, including the two later redacted names. This email includes two and a half lines of text that will also be later redacted for containing secret information relating to the DIA, NRO, or NGA.

These emails get forwarded to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, and Abedin then forwards them to Clinton. (US Department of State, 2/29/2016)

December 23–27, 2011: An email about a specific US drone strike is forwarded to Clinton.

Frank Ruggiero (Credit: public domain)

Frank Ruggiero (Credit: public domain)

On December 23, 2011, US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter sends a short email to his bosses Frank Ruggiero, who is acting US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Ruggiero’s deputy Daniel Feldman. The email’s subject heading is “(SBU),” which stands for “sensitive but unclassified.” The single line email will later be mostly redacted, but according to a June 2016 Wall Street Journal article, Munter indicates that a specific US drone strike is planned.

Feldman then forwards the email to Clinton aides Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills with the comment, “I’m sure you know already, but just in case.” There are two more emails between Feldman and Mills in the chain that day, mostly later redacted.

Then, on December 27, 2011, Mills resumes the chain with a short email to Feldman, asking, “What happened on this?”

After some more mostly redacted discussion, the full email chain is forwarded by Mills to Clinton later that day. Her response, if any, is unknown.

 Nine-year-old Nabila Rehman appears before Congress and holds a drawing depicting the drone strike that killed her grandmother. (Credit: Evan Vucci / The Associated Press)

Nabila Rehman appears before Congress and holds a drawing depicting the drone strike that killed her grandmother in 2009. (Credit: Evan Vucci / The Associated Press)

The Wall Street Journal will later cite this chain as its only specific example of emails about the US drone program said to be a “key part” of the FBI’s Clinton investigation. Apparently, many of the other emails about various drone strikes are later deemed “top secret,” so their details can’t be shared.

The Journal will claim this email chain is an example of officials having discussions about highly classified drone strikes via unsecured emails “in part because people were away from their offices for the [Christmas] holiday and didn’t have access to a classified computer, officials said.”

Munter incorrectly marks the original email “SBU,” because the Journal will later note, “Under strict US classification rules, US officials have been barred from discussing strikes publicly and even privately outside of secure communications systems.”

Many of the other emails discussing proposed drone strikes will be deemed “top secret,” the highest classification level. (The Wall Street Journal, 6/9/2016) (US Department of State, 1/7/2016)

In Clinton’s July 2016 FBI interview, she will be asked about this email chain, which reached her on December 27, 2011. “Clinton stated no policy or practice existed related to communicating around holidays, and it was often necessary to communicate in code or do the best you could to convey the information considering the email system you were using. In reference to the same email, Clinton believed if the foreign press was to obtain information from that email, it would not cause damage to the US Government.”

It is impossible to judge the validity Clinton’s comments, since so much of the entire chain remains redacted. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

2012: One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains includes two emails written by Clinton.

002012WilliamBurnsReuters

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns (Credit: Reuters)

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2012, and involves two “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email written by an unnamed State Department official to other unnamed department officials. It makes its way to Sullivan, who forwards it to Clinton, Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. Clinton then replies to Sullivan. Then there’s another back and forth between Clinton and Sullivan. The contents of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

2012: One of Clinton’s “top secret” email chains ends with an email sent by Jake Sullivan to Clinton.

In July 2016, the State Department will reveal some limited details about 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. One email chain is sent sometime in 2012, and involves two “top secret” emails. The chain begins with an email written by an unnamed State Department official. It makes its way to Sullivan, who forwards it to Clinton and Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills. There is no known reply from Clinton. The content of the emails remain unknown. (Vice News, 7/22/2016)

June 28, 2012—July 1, 2012: Clinton sends President Obama an email from on or above Russian soil; Obama uses a pseudonym for his email address.

Clinton meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 29, 2012. (State Department)

Clinton meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 29, 2012. (State Department)

It has been reported that Clinton and President Obama exchanged 18 emails in the four years of Clinton’s secretary of state tenure. However, very few details have been released about any of them, except for this one. This email is an exception because when Clinton will be interviewed by the FBI in July 2016, she will be asked about the email, apparently since it was sent from Russia. A September 2016 FBI report will mention it is sent on July 1, 2012 and that the subject line is: “Fw: Congratulations!”

Additionally, an FBI summary of her interview will mention, “Clinton stated she received no particular guidance as to how she should use the president’s email address [redacted]. Since the foregoing email was sent from Russia, Clinton stated she must have sent it from the plane.”

Elsewhere in the FBI report, it will be mentioned that the FBI was unable to determine whenever Clinton sent emails overseas while on the ground or in an airplane because the State Department didn’t give the FBI detailed enough information about her travel schedule. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin will be asked about this email in an April 2016 FBI interview, though it will be described as “an email chain dated June 28, 2012, with the subject ‘Re: Congratulations!'” According to the FBI summary, “Abedin did not recognize the name of the sender. Once informed that the sender’s name is believed to be a pseudonym used by [President Obama], Abedin exclaimed ‘How is this not classified?’ Abedin then expressed her amazement at the president’s use of a pseudonym and asked if she could have a copy of the email. Abedin provided that she did not go on the trip to St. Petersburg [Russia] and noted that security protocols in St. Petersburg were not necessarily the same as they were in Moscow, where they were not allowed use to their BlackBerrys.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016)

Based on Abedin’s comments, it appears probable that Clinton sends an email in the chain with her BlackBerry from St. Petersburg, Russia, though it is unclear if she is on an airplane at the time or not, or if the plane is flying on on the ground.

Accordng to some basic details that will be revealed about the Clinton-Obama emails in September 2016, it appears Obama emails Clinton on June 28, 2012, then Clinton replies to him on June 28, 2012, which coincides with her time in St. Petersburg, on June 28 and 29, 2012. Then her aide Monica Hanley sends an email to Obama on July 1, 2012. It is not clear why this Hanley email will later be included in a list of Obama-Clinton emails or why the FBI wil refer to a July 1, 2012 email in Clinton’s FBI interview instead of the June 28, 2012 Clinton email mentioned in the Abedin FBI interview. (Vice News, 09/15/16) (Vicc News, 09/15/16)

July 21, 2012: Emails possibly relating to Huma Abedin are later redacted for information that could disclose investigative techniques and endanger lives.

Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, sends an email to Joseph MacManus, executive assistant to Clinton, and Patrick Kennedy, under secretary of state for management, with the subject heading: “Threat.” All of the several lines of text in the email are later redacted. There are several classification codes justifying the redaction, including one for information that would “disclose investigative techniques” and one for information that would “endanger life or physical safety of any individual.”

Executive Assistant Joseph MacManus (Credit: Heinz-Peter Bader / Reuters)

Executive Assistant Joseph MacManus (Credit: Heinz-Peter Bader / Reuters)

MacManus then forwards the email to Clinton with the subject heading: “Re: Huma.” Huma Abedin is Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. (US Department of State, 12/31/2015)

A couple of days earlier, five Republican Congresspeople accused Abedin of having family members tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, so this threat might somehow relate to that. (The accusations are widely dismissed in the mainstream media.) (CBS News, 7/19/2012) 

On the same day, there is another email chain started by State Department diplomatic security official David Gallagher. It might be related, but all the substantial content is redacted, including the subject headings. All of Gallagher’s comments in two emails are redacted for the same above-mentioned reasons of disclosing investigative techniques and endangering lives. A comment in the chain from Abedin and CCed to Clinton is also later redacted for threatening to disclose investigative techniques. (US Department of State, 12/31/2015)

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 25, 2012: An email forwarded to Clinton contains embassy security details that could endanger lives.

US Chargé D’Affaires for Sudan Joseph Stafford (Credit: State Department)

US Chargé D’Affaires for Sudan Joseph Stafford (Credit: State Department)

Joseph Stafford, a top official at the US embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, is asked if the embassy has gotten extra security for some unnamed reason. Stafford explains in an email, “We’ve gotten the extra protection – twenty-seven police currently deployed around Embassy compound,” [redacted] “Senior police contact reports that an additional 300 police are on standby at nearby police compound, approx. 8 minute response time…” According to classification coding, the missing portion will later be redacted due to information that could “endanger life or physical safety of any individual.”

The email is forward to Clinton by her chief of staff Cheryl Mills with the comment, “FYI.” There is no apparent response from Clinton. (US Department of State, 11/30/2015)

January 19, 2013: An email to Clinton lists the names of defense personnel sent to war-torn Mali.

French troops are greeted by locals as they arrive to defend Timbuktu, Mali, on January 28, 2013. (Credit: Arnaud Roine / Reuters)

French troops are greeted by locals as they arrive to defend Timbuktu, Mali, on January 28, 2013. (Credit: Arnaud Roine / Reuters)

Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy sends Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills an email regarding the sending of six officers from the Defense Department’s Defense Attaché Office (DAO) to Bamako, Mali, the next day.

The names of these six people are given in the email, but they will later be redacted due to a code indicating their identities are to be kept secret. Mali is experiencing a civil war with Islamist militants at the time, and in January 2013 numerous foreign governments have sent soldiers to assist the Mali government.

The email is forwarded to Clinton, who replies that she is fine with the DAO personnel being sent. But her response will later also be partially redacted. (US Department of State, 1/29/2016) 

Furthermore, it appears Kennedy attaches a document that lists the names and job positions of dozens of employees temporarily assigned to the US embassy in Bamako, Mali. The names of eight defense attachés in the list will later be redacted as well. (US Department of State, 2/13/2016)

May 28, 2013: Clinton sends an email containing classified information despite having left the State Department.

Clinton sends an email to former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, former Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, State Department official Jeffrey Feltman, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. Many of the email recipients continue to advise Clinton after leaving the department at the same time she did, around February 2013.

130528StateOfficialsUpdate

From left to right, William Burns (Credit: public domain) Kurt Campbell (Credit: public domain) Jeffrey Feltman (Credit: PatrickTsui / FCO)

In the email, Clinton recalls “remember how after US signed 123 deal [with] UAE [the United Arab Emirates] and we were in Abu Dhabi [the capital of the UAE].” This is a reference to a 2009 pact between the US and the UAE to share nuclear energy information and materials, with the UAE also agreeing not to pursue building a nuclear weapon. Much of the rest of the email is unintelligible because it is heavily redacted for containing information that is later considered classified, at the “confidential” level.

The email will be made public in August 2016 due to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents sent by Clinton after her tenure as secretary of state ended to officials still at the State Department. This is the only email in response to the FOIA request sent or received by Clinton later deemed classified.

Department spokesperson John Kirby will later comment: “I am not going to speak to the content but I would point you to that one of the FOIA exemptions here we used was 1.4B which is foreign government information. And as we previously explained, while foreign government information may be protected from public release, both the executive order on classification and the foreign affairs manual acknowledge that foreign government information can often be maintained on unclassified systems.” (NBC News, 9/1/2016) (US Department of State, 6/26/2016)

August 19, 2014: Clinton and her future campaign chair Podesta appear to discuss classified information before Podesta warns her to stop.

John Podesta and Hillary Clinton in 2007. (Credit: Flickr)

John Podesta and Hillary Clinton in 2007. (Credit: Flickr)

Clinton forwards an email to her future campaign chair John Podesta. It is not clear where the forwarded email comes from, especially considering that Clinton is a private citizen at the time, since the sender’s name is not included. But it discusses nine detailed points on how to deal with the ISIS Islamist movement in Iraq and Syria. The forwarded email starts with the sentence: “Note: Sources include Western intelligence, US intelligence and sources in the region.”

Podesta replies with some brief commentary on the email.

Then Clinton emails him back, writing, “Agree but there may be opportunities as the Iraqi piece improves. Also, any idea whose fighters attacked Islamist positions in Tripoli, Libya? Worth analyzing for future purposes.”

Podesta then replies, “Yes and interesting but not for this channel.” (WikiLeaks, 11/3/2016)

The email chain will be released by WikiLeaks in November 2016. Thus, it is unknown what parts of the chain might be deemed classified by the US government.

Early May 2015—Early July 2015: Patrick Kennedy and other State Department officials allegedly attempt to change or remove the classification codes of some Clinton emails to make their release less politically damaging for Clinton.

An unnamed State Department official who worked in the Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS) will be interviewed by the FBI on August 17, 2015. She will claim there was a deliberate effort to change some Clinton emails bearing the “B(1)” code, which classifies information due to “national security,” to the “B(5)” code, which classifies information mostly due to “interagency or intra-agency communications.”

This person “believed there was interference with the formal [Freedom of Information Act] FOIA review process. Specifically, [the State Department’s] Near East Affairs Bureau upgraded several of Clinton’s emails to a classified level with a B(1) release exemption. [Redacted] along with [redacted] attorney, Office of Legal Counsel called State’s Near East Affairs Bureau and told them they could use a B(5) exemption on an upgraded email to protect it instead of the B(1) exemption.”

Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy (Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images)

Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy (Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images)

The interviewee reported in early May 2015 that Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy “held a closed-door meeting with [redacted]  and [redacted] [Justice Department’s] Office of Information Programs where Kennedy pointedly asked [redacted] to change the FBI’s classification determination regarding one of Clinton’s emails, which the FBI considered classified. The email was related to FBI counter-terrorism operations.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016)

In October 2016, Fox News will report, “This appears to be one of two emails that kick-started the FBI [Clinton email investigation] in the summer of 2015.” (Fox News, 10/6/2016) The email in question was sent on November 18, 2012 by department official Bill Roebuck and forwarded to Clinton by her aide Jake Sullivan. If Kennedy tried to change the classified code on this email he must have failed, because when the email is published on May 22, 2015, it is classified at the “secret” level (the medium level below “top secret”) due to a section using the B(1) code. (US Department of State, 5/22/2015)

However, classification codes may be changed on other emails. On August 26, 2015, Fox News will report that “Kennedy, who was deeply involved in the Benghazi controversy, is running interference on the classified email controversy on Capitol Hill. Two sources confirmed that Kennedy went to Capitol Hill in early July [2015] and argued [the November 18, 2012] email from Clinton aide Jake Sullivan [plus one other email] did not contain classified material. … One participant found it odd Kennedy insisted on having the discussion in a secure facility for classified information, known as a SCIF,” although Kennedy claimed the two emails were unclassified. (Fox News, 8/26/2015)

Then, on September 1, 2015, Fox News will report that “At least four classified Hillary Clinton emails had their markings changed to a category that shields the content from Congress and the public… in what State Department whistleblowers believed to be an effort to hide the true extent of classified information on the former secretary of state’s server. The changes, which came to light after the first tranche of 296 Benghazi emails was released in May [2015], was confirmed by two sources — one congressional, the other intelligence. The four emails originally were marked classified after a review by career officials at the State Department. But after a second review by the department’s legal office, the designation was switched to ‘B5’…”

Kate Duval (Credit: LinkedIn)

Kate Duval (Credit: LinkedIn)

One of the lawyers in the office where the changes are made is Kate Duval, who once worked for Williams & Connolly, the same law firm as Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall.  Duval also served as an attorney and advisor in the Obama Administration on oversight issues and high-profile investigations, most recently at the Department of State and, before that, as Counselor to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. There are internal department complaints that Duval, and a second lawyer also linked to Kendall, “gave at the very least the appearance of a conflict of interest during the email review. A State Department spokesman did not dispute the basic facts of the incident, confirming to Fox News the disagreement over the four classified emails as well as the internal complaints. But the spokesman said the concerns were unfounded.” (Fox News, 9/1/2015)

Kennedy will also be interviewed by the FBI on December 21, 2015. Redactions will make the interview summary difficult to follow, but apparently he will be asked about these accusations. He will say that while the official who accused him “says it like it is” and has “no fear of telling truth to power,” he “categorically rejected” the allegations of classified code tampering. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/23/2016)

January 7, 2016: Blumenthal is interviewed by the FBI, and is asked about his intelligence memos to Clinton.

Blumenthal appears on MSNBC's Chris Hayes show to discuss emails and the campaign. (Credit: MSNBC)

Blumenthal appears on MSNBC  on May 13, 2016. (Credit: MSNBC)

Sid Blumenthal is a Clinton confidant, reporter, and Clinton Foundation employee in the years Clinton is secretary of state. The interview will remain secret until it’s mentioned in a September 2016 FBI report.

The FBI identified at least 179 out of the over 800 emails that Blumenthal sent to Clinton containing information in an intelligence memo format. The State Department determined that 24 Blumenthal memos that contained information currently classified as “confidential,” as well as one classified as “secret”  both currently and when it was sent.

Blumenthal tells the FBI that the content of the memos was provided to him from a number of different sources, including former US government officials and contacts, as well as contacts within foreign governments.

(In one email to Clinton, Blumenthal mentioned intelligence that he said came from an active US official, but apparently the FBI doesn’t ask him about this. The FBI report also will not mention emails in which Clinton sent Blumenthal classified information, despite him having no security clearance.)

Blumenthal’s memos contained a notation of “CONFIDENTIAL”  in all capital letters. He claims this meant the memos were personal in nature and didn’t refer to the US government category of classified information at the “confidential” level.

Blumenthal claims he was not tasked to provide this information to Clinton, but he sent the emails because he thought they could be helpful. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

February 29, 2016: Final totals show over 2,000 of Clinton’s emails contained classified information.

The last batch of Clinton’s private emails are publicly released. Out of the 30,490 emails, 22 are deemed “top secret,” which is the highest level of classification. 65 are deemed “secret,” the middle level. 2,028 are “confidential,” the lowest level. That means that 2,115 emails, or seven percent of the total, have some classified ranking. 104 of the classified emails were sent by Clinton herself.

It has been reported that Clinton gave the State Department 30,490 emails, and 30,068 of these were ultimately released. Of the remaining 422 emails, 19 are emails between Clinton and President Obama that have not been released, and one more email withheld because it is part of a continuing investigation. It is not known why the remaining 402 have not been released. (The New York Times, 2/29/2016

However, it has been reported that some emails were returned to Clinton after a determination they were not work-related, so that could explain the discrepancy. (Politico, 9/4/2015)

March 5, 2016: Clinton wrote 104 emails containing classified information.

This is according to a Washington Post analysis of the more than 30,000 released emails on her private server during her time as secretary of state. Clinton has maintained that while some of her emails had classified content, they were emails sent to her. While over 2,000 of those emails are classified, and thus partially or fully redacted, the names of the senders and recipients are given for each, allowing the Post to analyze them. (This does not count the 22 “top secret” emails, or the 19 emails between Clinton and President Obama, since all information about those emails is redacted.)

As secretary of state, Clinton was emailed a lot of information by her aides. Of the classified emails sent by Clinton, in many cases she wrote short commentaries on longer informative emails sent to her. In three-fourths of these 104 emails, at least some of Clinton’s comments were classified.

Clinton argues that these emails are only retroactively classified and there was considerable over classification. The State Department has largely dodged the issue, saying they have only analyzed what content is classified now, not what should have been classified then. (The Washington Post, 3/5/2016

At least 46 of the 104 emails contain text classified as “foreign government information,” meaning information from, to, or about foreign governments. (The New York Times, 5/10/2016)

March 5, 2016: An analysis suggests many in the State Department sent classified emails.

The Washington Post publishes an analysis of the 30,490 emails Clinton gave to investigators, now that all of them have been publicly published. (Over 2,000 are partially or fully redacted for containing classified information.) “The analysis [shows] that the practice of using non-secure email systems to send sensitive information was widespread at the department and elsewhere in government.”

In addition to Clinton, about 300 other people wrote classified emails included in all the publicly released emails. The vast majority of US officials sent classified information using their less secure daily government email accounts. While this is not as egregious as Clinton’s use of a private email account, all classified information is supposed to be sent over a separate, highly secure network. The Post comments that their analysis “suggests that either material is being overclassified, as Clinton and her allies have charged, or that classified material is being handled improperly with regularity by government officials at all levels—or some combination of the two.” (The Washington Post, 3/5/2016)

April 9, 2016: Cheryl Mills is interviewed by the FBI; she isn’t concerned about classified information in emails she forwarded to Clinton.

Mills was Clinton’s chief of staff when Clinton was secretary of state and since then has been one of Clinton’s lawyers. The date and most details of the interview will remain secret until it’s mentioned in a September 2016 FBI report.

Mills refuses to answer some questions, claiming attorney-client privilege.

Cheryl Mills and Hillary Clinton at the House Benghazi Committee hearing on June 28, 2016. (Credit: Chip Somodaville / Getty Images)

Cheryl Mills and Clinton at the House Benghazi Committee hearing on October 23, 2015. (Credit: Chip Somodaville / Getty Images)

The FBI shows Mills seven emails that she forwarded to Clinton which contain information later determined to be classified. Acccording to the FBI, although “Mills did not specifically remember any of the emails, she stated that there was nothing in them that concerned her regarding their transmission on an unclassified email system. Mills also stated that she was not concerned about her decision to forward certain of these emails to Clinton.”

Apparently, some of the emails reviewed by Mills are classified at the “top secret/Special Access Program” (TP/SAP) level. Because the FBI will mention that while “reviewing emails related to the SAP referenced above, Mills explained that some of the emails were designed to inform State [Department] officials of media reports concerning the subject matter and that the information in the emails merely confirmed what the public already knew. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

July 2, 2016: Clinton is asked about an apparent top secret email exchange in which someone comments, “Let me know what you can via this channel.”

In Clinton’s FBI interview on this day, she is asked for her opinion on more than a dozen specific emails from her time as secretary of state. For just one of the emails mentioned in the FBI’s summary of her interview, the date of the email is redacted. This would indicate it is an email deemed “top secret” or above top secret, because only the dates of such emails have remained classified.

Clinton’s response about the email is also heavily redacted in the FBI’s summary. But it is mentioned that Clinton claims she doesn’t remember the email. Also,  she is asked about a comment made by the man who sent her the email in which he wrote “let me know what you can via this channel.” That would suggest whoever wrote the email didn’t mind using private email matters to discuss top secret information, which would be why the FBI would ask about this email and that particular comment.

According to the later FBI summary, Clinton said that this was “representative of the emphasis he placed on handling information appropriately. Clinton had no concerns the displayed email contained classified information.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

July 7, 2016: FBI Director Comey says three of Clinton’s emails were clearly marked as classified when they were sent.

At a Congressional hearing, FBI Director James Comey is asked by Representative Trey Gowdy (R), “Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her emails, either sent or received. Was that true?”

Comey replies, “That’s not true. There were a small number of portion markings on, I think, three of the documents.” Later in the day, the State Department says that two of those emails were incorrectly marked as classified when they were sent. Both of those emails, sent on April 8, 2012 and August 2, 2012, were released as part of the over 30,000 emails Clinton made public. It is unknown which email Comey is referring to in the third instance. It could be the part marked classified is redacted, or perhaps the email has not yet been released. (Politico, 7/7/2016) (CNN, 7/7/2016)

A September 2016 FBI report will give more information on these emails, including mentioning that the third email is still classified at the “confidential” level.

July 22, 2016: More details of Clinton’s twenty-two “top secret” emails are revealed; nine were written by Clinton and most of the rest were written by her aide Jake Sullivan.

As part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by Vice News reporter Jason Leopold, the State Department reveals more information about seven chains of 22 “top secret” emails involving Clinton. (Curiously, FBI Director James Comey mentioned on July 5, 2016 that there actually were eight “top secret” email chains, but the eighth chain is not mentioned by the department.)

The contents of the emails remain totally classified, but previous media reports indicate that most of them discussed approval for covert CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, and some of them may have identified CIA operatives working undercover.

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A sample of the Vaughn Index form submitted by the State Department, in response to the Vice News Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. (Credit: public domain)

For the first time, the department reveals which years the emails were sent and who sent and received them. All the emails were from 2011 or 2012 – the State Department began to have a say in approving CIA drone strikes in 2011. Nine of the emails were written by Clinton, and the other thirteen were written by her aide Jake Sullivan. Two were also cc’d by Sullivan to her chief of staff Cheryl Mills and/or Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.

The State Department disclosure comes in the form of a “Vaughn Index,” which is a document used by government departments in FOIA lawsuits to justify the withholding of information under various FOIA exemptions. Vaughn Indexes contain at least some information about the withheld text, to justify keeping it redacted, but this one does not. Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, says that according to government regulations, “State’s document does not fulfill the requirements for a Vaughn index.” (Vice News, 7/22/2016) (The Hill, 7/22/2016)

September 2, 2016: The FBI provides statistics on the number of Clinton’s classified emails, but those numbers diverge wildly from the State Department’s numbers.

The FBI Clinton email investigation’s final report, released on this day, details how many of Clinton’s emails were deemed classified, and when, and at what level. This data is according to FBI and Intelligence Community (IC) classification reviews, which is different from a State Department review mentioned below:

  • 81 email chains containing approximately 193 individual emails were classified at the “confidential,” “secret,” and “top secret” levels at the time the emails were drafted on unclassified systems and sent to or from Clinton’s personal server.
  • Of the 81 email chains classified at the time they were sent, 68 remain classified.
  • Twelve of these email chains, classified at the “confidential” or “secret” levels, were not included in the over 30,000 emails turned over by Clinton in December 2014. Apparently, no “top secret” emails were in this category.
  • Thirty-six of the 81 email chains were classified at the “confidential” level.
  • Thirty-seven of the chains were at the “secret” level.
  • Eight of the chains were at the “top secret” level.
  • Out of the eight “top secret” chains, seven chains contained information associated with a Special Access Program (SAP), and three email chains contained Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). One “top secret”/SCI email was later downgraded to a current classification of “secret.”
  • Thirty-six of the 81 classified email chains were determined to be Not-Releasable to Foreign Governments (NOFORN) and 2 were considered releasable only to Five Allied partners (FVEY) – the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Sixteen of the email chains, classified at the time the emails were sent, were downgraded in current classification by Intelligence Community (IC) agencies.
  • By contrast, the State Department’s FOIA process identified 2,028 emails currently at the “confidential” level and 65 currently at the “secret” level, for a total of 2093 emails.

The FBI report further notes: “Of these emails, FBI investigation identified approximately 100 emails that overlapped with the 193 emails (80 email chains) determined through the FBI classification review to be classified at the time sent. All except one of the remaining 2,093 emails were determined by the State FOIA process to be ‘confidential’, with one email determined to be ‘secret’ at the time of the FOIA review. State did not provide a determination as to whether the 2,093 emails were classified at the time they were sent.”

It is unclear why the FBI and IC numbers are so different from the State Department numbers when it comes to “confidential” level emails. The FBI and IC identified 36 of the 81 email chains were classified at the “confidential” level, while the State Department identified 2,028 emails at the “confidential” level. And while one cannot compare email chains to emails, all 81 classified emails chains only contained 193 individual emails, so the 36 “confidential” chains must contain fewer emails than that.

Furthermore, the FBI found an additional 17,000 emails to the over 30,000 work-related emails Clinton gave to the State Department, and it appears these largely haven’t been analyzed. It hasn’t even been reported how many of them are work-related. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

September 2, 2016: The FBI concludes Clinton contributed to discussions in 11 email chains, including four at the above top secret level.

A FBI report released on this day will mention: “The FBI investigation determined Clinton contributed to discussions in four email chains classified as ‘confidential’, three email chains classified as ‘secret’/NOFORN, and four email chains classified as ‘top secret’/ SAP.” (“SAP” stands for “Special Access Programs.”)

However, FBI classification is wildly different from State Department classification when it comes to “confidential” emails, with the FBI deeming 36 email chains of around 100 emails or less classified at that level, compared to the State Department deeming 2,028 individual emails classified at that level.

Furthermore, the FBI puts emails where Clinton asked aides to print out emails as different from replies that added to discussions. The FBI identified 67 times where Clinton forwarded emails for printing at either the “confidential” or “secret” levels. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

A snippet from the graphic created by the Washington Post. (Credit: Washington Post)

A snippet from a graphic created by the Washington Post, indicating the number of emails written by Clinton that were deemed classified. (Credit: Washington Post)

By contrast, a March 2016 Washington Post analysis concluded that 104 of all the emails deemed classified were written by Clinton. Presumably, they used the State Department definition of which ones were classified (since it was the only one publicly available at the time), and they were measuring individual emails instead of email chains. Furthermore,  the Post noted that at least some of Clinton’s comments were deemed classified in three-fourths of these 104 emails, so presumably these were not emails where she just asked fo print-outs. (The Washington Post, 3/5/2016

September 2, 2016: The FBI reveals more about the Clinton emails that are clearly marked classified.

In the FBI Clinton email investigation’s final report, released on this day, more is revealed about the three Clinton email chains containing at least one paragraph with the “(C)” marking. This indicates the presence of information classified at the “confidential” level.

The report adds that there actually were eight emails in the three email chains. “The emails contained no additional markings, such as a header or footer, indicating that they were classified.”

Kofi Anan (Credit: Jean-Marc Ferré / United Nations

Kofi Annan (Credit: Jean-Marc Ferré / United Nations

At least one email from two of the email chains have been publicly released. One was sent to Clinton by her aide Monica Hanley on April 8, 2012, regarding a phone call between Clinton and Malawi president Joyce Banda. The second email was sent to Clinton by Hanley on August 2, 2012, regarding a phone call between Clinton and United Nations/Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria Kofi Annan. The FBI report indicates both email chains are currently unclassified.

The third email chain is more mysterious. The FBI report doesn’t mention when it was sent, or by whom, of what its contents are. However, the State Department “confirmed through the FOIA review process that [this chain] contains information which is currently classified at the ‘confidential ‘level.” This email has not been found in the over 30,000 work-related emails Clinton gave to the State Department, even though the “confidential” classification clearly indicates it is work-related.

Finally, the State Department hasn’t provided a determination if any of the three emails were classified at the time they were sent. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

September 2, 2016: Clinton often told an aide to forward Blumenthal’s emails to the White House and others, but the FBI was unable to prove this actually happened.

In the FBI’s Clinton email investigation final report released on this day, the FBI discusses the at least 179 “intelligence memos” Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal emailed to Clinton. Media reports indicate that some memos were accurate and some were totally inaccurate, but none of them were vetted by any US government official, because Blumenthal was and is a private citizen with no security clearance sending the emails directly to Clinton.

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An email in which Clinton wanted Sullivan to send a Blumenthal email to Obama, without mentioning who it was from. (Credit: public domain)

According to the FBI report, “Clinton often forwarded the memos to [her aide Jake] Sullivan, asking him to remove information identifying Blumenthal as the originator and to pass the information to other State employees to solicit their input. According to emails between Clinton and Sullivan, Clinton discussed passing the information to the White House, other [US government] agencies, and foreign governments.”

However, the report also mentions that the FBI was unable to determine if any of the memos were actually sent to such recipients, because the State Department didn’t give the FBI any of Sullivan’s emails sent to anyone other than Clinton. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016) (Department of State, 2/29/16)