A review of recently released e-mails shows that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly originated and distributed highly classified national security information. Clinton’s classified e-mail missives were not constrained to State Department staff, either. She also sent classified information to Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton White House operative banned by the Obama White House.
An analysis by The Federalist of e-mails released by the State Department late Monday shows that scores of e-mails sent by Clinton contained highly confidential national security information from the beginning, even if they weren’t marked by a classification authority until later.
The original date of classification of Hillary’s e-mails can be discerned by noting the declassification dates noted next to redactions in the e-mails. Under a 2009 executive order signed by President Barack Obama, classified material in most circumstances is to be automatically declassified after 10 years. In some instances, that duration may be extended up to 25 years. In certain circumstances, classification authorities may adjust the classification duration based on the nature of the underlying information.
In this July 2010 e-mail, for example, the entirety of Hillary Clinton’s message was redacted prior to its public release under the federal FOIA law. The redactions of the material were provided pursuant to a provision of law protecting national security information. The printed redaction code “1.4(D),” cited next to the redaction and at the top of the document next to the official classification date, pertains to information on “[f]oreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources[.]” At the top of the document, a declassification date of July 1, 2025 is clearly noted:
That declassification date is highly significant because it is precisely 15 years after the date on which the e-mail was sent, rather than the date on which it was marked.
That is because under federal law, information is classified by nature, not by marking. As a result, federal classification authorities deemed that the information was classified the very second it originated, even if it was not marked as such until August 27, 2015. Also worthy of note is the fact that Hillary’s message is the only content in the entire document that is redacted and marked as classified. This means that she was not merely a helpless, passive recipient of classified national security information; she was the originator. And not only did she intentionally originate the classified information, she intentionally disseminated it via an unsecured, unsanctioned private e-mail server.
The e-mail was classified as “confidential.” According to the 2009 Obama executive order, the “confidential” classification level “shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign team has repeatedly tried to dodge responsibility for her distribution of classified information by claiming the information was not marked at the time. However, the nature of Hillary’s secret, off-books private e-mail scheme made it impossible for government authorities to mark as classified any information that originated on Hillary’s private server, since they had no access to it. In fact, one of the newly released e-mails shows that the agency’s IT department had no knowledge of her private e-mail address and server scheme.
In this May 2010 e-mail from Hillary Clinton, another large chunk of her message is redacted under the same 1.4(D) code and may not be declassified until 10 years have passed from the day Clinton sent the e-mail, rather than the date on which it was marked as classified. Once again, this declassification date shows that the information Clinton originated and disseminated was classified from the very beginning, even if it was not marked as such.
The same thing happened in 2009 in an e-mail exchange about Egypt. Once again, Hillary Clinton originated classified information and sent it over an unsecured, unclassified system. Because of its classified nature, the entirety of her e-mail was redacted for national security purposes. The declassification date of November 25, 2024 — precisely 15 years after the classified information originated in Hillary’s e-mail — shows that the information was considered to be classified at birth.
Hillary’s classified missives weren’t sent to just State Department personnel. She also disseminated highly classified information to private citizens who did not have security clearances. In this 2009 e-mail exchange, for example, Clinton sent confidential classified national security information to Sidney Blumenthal, a shady former Clinton White House operative who the Obama White House banned from federal employment:
The bulk of Hillary Clinton’s message to Blumenthal was redacted, under codes 1.4(D) and 1.4(B) because classification authorities determined it contained classified information “which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security[.]” As was the case with other e-mails where Clinton originated classified information, authorities determined that the information was classified at birth and did not allow declassification until November of 2024 — 15 years after the e-mail was written and sent by Hillary, rather than 15 years after the information was marked.
The 2009 executive order signed by Obama states that U.S. officials who negligently disclose classified information to unauthorized individuals are subject to any and all federal sanctions provided for by law.