Three and a half years — or 1,279 days — after The New York Times exposed her use of a private email server to conduct official U.S. diplomatic business, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (pictured above right) finally lost her security clearance.
Clinton’s clearance was removed “at her request” on August 30, according to Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley. Grassley made public on Friday a September 21 letter he received from the State Department, which mentioned the removal.
The State Department letter also told Grassley that the security clearances of four federal employees designated by Clinton as “researchers” were withdrawn. The names of the four individuals were redacted from the copy of the letter made public by the committee.
The New York Times first reported Clinton’s use of the private server, which was located in the New York mansion she shares with former President Bill Clinton, in a March 3, 2015, news story.
The email scandal that erupted as a result of the story in The Times dogged Clinton throughout her failed 2016 campaign for the presidency. It prompted an FBI investigation that has itself become the focus of multiple congressional probes, and it handed President Donald Trump (pictured above left) vivid justification for his declaration, during one of the contenders’ debates, that she “would be in jail” if he was in the Oval Office.
To this day, whenever Trump mentions Clinton’s name during campaign speeches, it is not uncommon for chants of “Lock her up, lock her up” to boom across the packed houses that are standard fare at the president’s Make America Great Again rallies.
In the months after The Times’ story, subsequent reporting disclosed that Clinton had sent and received more than 50,000 emails using the private server and private email addresses. When the government asked her for copies of the emails, she claimed that an estimated 33,000 of them were personal and thus did not turn them over to investigators.
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In July 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey told the nation in an unprecedented televised statement that he recommended no prosecution of Clinton — even though investigators concluded she and her staff had been “extremely careless” in sending and receiving hundreds of highly classified documents on the system but had not intended to jeopardize national security.
Federal law makes it illegal to misuse classified documents in email or other digital communications, regardless of the violator’s intention in doing so.
Clinton may yet be required to submit to cross-examination on the email scandal under oath as a result of litigation originally filed by nonprofit government watchdog Judicial Watch.
The watchdog group has asked a federal district court to order Clinton to submit to cross-examination.