The media have zeroed in on discrepancies between Hillary’s statements about her emails over the past year and the July 5 announcement from FBI Director James Comey. However, a fascinating new development emerged today to support what Hillary has said about the emails.
At a press briefing, State Department spokesman John Kirby said two emails marked classified were the result of “human error.”
Comey had said in his statement: “Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information.” The New York Times nailed down that “very small number” to two:
While [Comey] did not identify any, he was evidently referring to two emails that one of Mrs. Clinton’s close aides, Monica R. Hanley, sent to prepare her for telephone calls with foreign leaders, according to a State Department official familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified information. One email, dated Aug. 2, 2012, noted that Kofi Annan, the former secretary general of the United Nations, was stepping down as special envoy trying to mediate the war in Syria. A second one, sent in April 2012, discussed Mrs. Clinton’s call to the newly inaugurated president of Malawi.
So it appears that the only two emails that were “marked” classified (or to be more precise “bore markings indicating the presence of classified information”) in Hillary’s tens of thousands of emails were erroneously marked as such.
Ultimately, this entire email story comes down to the conclusion, from the New York Times, that Comey “did not claim that Mrs. Clinton’s behavior had compromised any program or operation.”
The Times quotes Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, as saying, “There was no assertion of damage to national security because of this episode.”
No assertion of damage and no evidence of damage.
Most importantly, no bad intent on Hillary’s part. None whatsoever. Simply a mistake she regrets making. And a lot of bluster over something that could have happened – but didn’t.
UPDATE: It’s officially over.
UPDATE 3 (7/7/16): In his testimony before Congress, James Comey says there were only three emails that bore any sort of classified markings, and that those markings were simply a (c) somewhere in the body of the email and nothing in the header or subject line. He also stated that they were improperly marked and that it was reasonable for Hillary to assume they were not classified.