New allegations have surfaced from within joint congressional investigations into the handling of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
According to Fox News, members of the U.S. House of Representative’s judiciary and oversight committees prepared a document claiming “foreign actors” obtained access to multiple Clinton emails sent improperly through private computer servers.
“Documents provided to the Committees show foreign actors obtained access to some of Mrs. Clinton’s emails — including at least one email classified ‘Secret,'” the memo states.
Further illustrating the extent of the potential threat such a breach poses, the document claims that certain data could “reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security” if America’s enemies released it.
It was unclear from the memo which foreign entities might have obtained Clinton’s emails and what information might have been included in them.
The congressional findings, however, were obtained prior to the anticipated release of a Justice Department inspector general’s report, which is expected to provide additional details regarding the Clinton email probe.
Many of the memo’s claims were also referenced in a May 2016 email sent by Peter Strzok, who was at the time an FBI agent working on the case. He has since been criticized by Republicans after leaked text messages to a colleague appeared to reveal his bias against presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“The statement that ‘we assess it is reasonably likely that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s private email account’ is too strong,” he wrote. “It is more accurate to say we know foreign actors obtained access to some of her emails (including at least one Secret one) via compromises of the private email accounts of some of her staffers.”
In a July 2016 statement on the matter, then-FBI Director James Comey referenced the potential of such an email breach by the nation’s enemies.
“We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account,” he said.
According to Strzok’s 2016 email, any security breach of Clinton’s private email server could have been completed without leaving a digital fingerprint.
“It is also accurate to say that a sophisticated foreign actor would likely have known about her private email domain, and would be competent enough not to leave a trace if they gained access,” he wrote. “But we have seen no direct evidence they did.”
The email also took aim at several Clinton talking points, including a focus on the “providers” of her email servers.
“We don’t think it is entirely accurate to reference the ‘providers’ of her servers, and think it could deflect from the fact that the Clintons themselves essentially created and operated at least the two first server enterprises when she was Secretary of State,” he wrote. “In other words, these were not professional server operations.”
The congressional memo concluded that there is no evidence anyone has been held responsible for the circumstances that led to Clinton’s use of a private email server.
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