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As pressure builds on Hillary Clinton to explain her official use of personal email while serving as secretary of state, she faced new complications Tuesday. It was disclosed her top aides are being drawn into a burgeoning federal inquiry and that two emails on her private account have been classified as “Top Secret.”
The inspector general for the Intelligence Community notified senior members of Congress that two of four classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material deemed to be in one of the highest security classifications - more sensitive than previously known.
The notice came as the State Department inspector general’s office acknowledged that it is reviewing the use of “personal communications hardware and software” by Clinton’s former top aides after requests from Congress.
“We will follow the facts wherever they lead, to include former aides and associates, as appropriate,” said Douglas Welty, a spokesman for the State Department’s inspector general.
Hillary Clinton emails contained ‘top secret’ material, watchdog confirms
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails did in fact have “top secret” material, the government’s top spy watchdog confirmed Tuesday, forwarding the messages in question to members of Congress.
I. Charles McCullough III, the inspector general for the intelligence community, said he has concluded two of Mrs. Clinton’s emails met the standard of “top secret/SCI level,” while other messages are still being scrutinized to see how secret they should have been.
Sensitive compartmented information (SCI) is a type of classified information controlled through formal systems established by the Director of National Intelligence. To access SCI, one must first have a favorable SSBI and be granted SCI eligibility. Because the SSBI is also used to grant collateral top secret eligibility, two are often granted together and written TS/SCI. Access to individual SCI control systems, compartments, and subcompartments may then be granted by the owner of that information. Note that additional investigation or adjudication may be required.
In general, military personnel and civilian employees (government and contractor) do not publish the individual compartments for which they are cleared. While this information is not classified, specific compartment listings may reveal sensitive information when correlated with an individual's résumé. Therefore, it is sufficient to declare that a candidate possesses a TS/SCI clearance with a polygraph.