Despite breathless reporting and countless headlines throughout the 2016 campaign about Hillary Clinton’s alleged mishandling of classified information through her use of a private email server, the State Department probe into the matter found no systemic mishandling of classified information by the former secretary of state’s staff.
The unclassified report was finalized in September and sent to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). He released the findings on Friday afternoon.
While the investigation found that the use of the private server “increased degree of risk of compromise,” it also concluded that “by and large, the individuals interviewed were aware of security policies and did their best to implement them.” Therefore, according to the report, “there was no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information” by Clinton or her staff.
The report continued, “Instances of classified information being deliberately transmitted via unclassified email were the rare exception and resulted in adjudicated security violations.”
Also, notably, Russians managed to breach the State Department’s official, unclassified email system. The report on Clinton’s server, however, found no evidence of outside hacking.
Out of the 33,000 emails found on the server, the probe identified 38 individuals who committed a total of 91 “valid violations.” As a result, each will receive a note in their file that will be considered when they renew their security clearances.
Politico spoke with former Clinton aides and current State officials who expressed concern that the conclusions of the investigation “could amount to an effort to alleviate pressure from Clinton critics who were disappointed that no one was prosecuted over the emails.” And some told the publication they were worried “it could be an attempt to strip the security clearances of former Clinton aides and allies.”
The review began in 2016 when 22 emails on Clinton’s server were found to be “top secret,” following an FBI investigation which became a topic of President Donald Trump’s campaign, despite no charges being filed. In fact, the subject of Clinton’s emails remains a focus for Trump. As recently as two weeks ago, he tweeted, “So Crooked Hillary Clinton can delete and acid wash 33,000 emails AFTER getting a Subpoena from the United States Congress, but I can’t make one totally appropriate telephone call to the President of Ukraine? Witch Hunt!”