FBI investigators have also read all 30,000 emails provided by Secretary Clinton to the State Department in December 2014. Where an email was assessed as possibly containing classified information, the FBI referred the email to any U.S. government agency that was a likely “owner” of the information in the email so that agency could make a determination as to whether the email contained classified information at the time it was sent or received, or whether there was reason to classify the email now, even if its content was not classified at the time it was sent (this is the process sometimes referred to as “up classifying”).
From that group of 30,000 emails that had been returned to the State Department in late 2014, REDACTED have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. REDACTED of those contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; REDACTED contained Secret information at the time; and REDACTED contained confidential information. Separate from those, a total of REDACTED additional emails were “up classified” to make them Secret or Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the emails were sent.
The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related emails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014. We found those additional emails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private email domain. Others we found by reviewing the archived government email accounts of people who had been government employees at the same time as Secretary Clinton, including high-ranking officials at other agencies, with whom a Secretary of State might naturally correspond. This helped us recover work-related emails that were not among the 30,000 produced to State. Still others we recovered from the laborious review of the millions of email fragments dumped into the slack space of the server decommissioned in 2013.
All told, we found thousands of emails that were not among those produced to the State Department in late 2014. To date, agencies have concluded that REDACTED of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, REDACTED at the Secret level and REDACTED at the Confidential level. There were no additional Top Secret emails found. Finally, REDACTED none of those we found have since been “up classified.”
I should add here that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them. Our assessment is that, like many users of private email accounts, Secretary Clinton periodically deleted emails or emails were purged from the system when devices were changed. Because she was not using a government account, there was no archiving of her emails, so it is not surprising that we discovered emails that were not on Secretary Clinton’s system in 2015, when she produced the 30,000 emails to the State Department.
It could also be that some of the additional work-related emails we recovered were among those deleted as “personal” by Secretary Clinton’s lawyers when they reviewed and sorted her emails for production in 20145. We have conducted interviews and done technical examination to attempt to understand how that sorting was done. Although we do not have complete visibility because we are not fully able to reconstruct the electronic record of that sorting, we believe our investigation has been sufficient to give us reasonable confidence there was no intentional misconduct in connection with that sorting effort.
The lawyers doing the sorting for Secretary Clinton in 20145 did not individually read the content of all of her tens of thousands of emails, as we did for those available to us; instead, they used search terms to try to find all work-related emails among the reportedly more than 60,000 total emails remaining on Secretary Clinton’s private system in 20154. It is highly likely their search terms missed some work-related emails, and that we found them, for example, in the mailboxes of other officials or in the slack space of a server. It is also likely that there are other work-related emails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all emails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in a such a way as to preclude forensic recovery.
And, of course, in additional to our technical work, we interviewed many people, from those involved in setting up and maintaining the various iterations of Secretary Clinton’s private server to staff members with whom she corresponded on email, to those involved in the email production to State, and finally, Secretary Clinton herself. Lastly, we have done extensive work with the assistance of our colleagues elsewhere in the Intelligence Community to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the private email operation.
What They Found
Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information. For example, seven email chains concern matters that were classified at the TS/SAP level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending emails about those matters and receiving emails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for such an email conversation.
In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on email (that is, excluding the “up classified” emails). This is especially concerning because all of these emails were housed on servers not supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government.
While not the focus of our investigation, we also developed evidence that the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified email systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.
With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal email system, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of individuals with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.
Everything written above is directly from the document embedded in this page and not James DeWitt’s original work. It was rewritten without the corrections or removals in the document to be easier to read.