Clinton email reportedly dealt with spying operations

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WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s emails while secretary of state included at least one that dealt with one or more spies engaged in ongoing operations, Fox News reported Friday, citing two people familiar with a letter to Congress from the inspector general of U.S. intelligence agencies.

It wasn’t clear whether the email held enough information to identify the spies or their country or affiliations, the cable network’s Catherine Herridge and Pamela K. Browne reported. They also said any exposure of the email or damage it may have led to wasn’t known.

The disclosed classified emails found on Clinton’s private server have surpassed 1,300, according to former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who said the most sensitive messages found will be the last to “dribble out,” in an article published Thursday in the Wall Street Journal. He pointed out that some of the emails discovered on the server were so sensitive that even the inspector general who discovered them didn’t have authority to look at them.

On Friday, the State Department asked a federal court for a one-month extension to publish the last of Clinton’s emails during her time as secretary of state, citing a complex review of some messages across different agencies of the government, the Associated Press reported.

Mukasey, whose former position put him at the top of the Justice Department, said FBI investigators have expanded their probe of the emails to determine if they may provide evidence that donations to the former secretary of state’s foundation may have intersected with State Department business, citing an earlier Fox News report.

“The odds are pretty high” that Clinton’s server, reportedly located in her suburban New York home, was compromised by hackers, former Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Department chief Robert Gates told Hugh Hewitt, a Salem Radio Network talk show host on Thursday. Gates cited the Pentagon’s statement that its computer systems are “attacked about 100,000 times a day.”

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the department wouldn’t be able to meet its court-mandated goal of Jan. 29 to disclose the final batch of Clinton emails, AP reported. About 9,400 of 55,000 pages are left, but Toner said those remaining “contain a large amount of material that required interagency review.”

The department will make public as many as possible next week, he said, but is asking for the final deadline to be pushed back until Feb. 29.

Fox News said that the inspector general’s letter to Congress identifying “several dozen” instances of classified information being exchanged through Clinton’s server actually referred to email threads, not the number of emails sent or received that contained the information. The Fox reporters indicated that the emails involved in those threads may have gone to dozens of recipients who may not have been authorized to view highly classified information, and that investigating all those leads is very time-consuming.

“State Department staff have been working extremely hard to process these emails, and we are committed to getting them out,” Toner said, according to AP. “The court’s goal for this month’s production represented the largest number of pages to date. The remaining emails are also the most complex to process.”

Some of the most contentious emails haven’t yet been published. They include two that an intelligence community auditor says are “top secret” and others he claims are even more sensitive, containing information from so-called special access programs, AP said. Such programs suggest the emails could reveal details about intelligence sources.

The State Department says no emails published so far contained material with “top secret” information or any material that was marked classified at the time. The issue has nagged at Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Toner said the delay in publication isn’t the result of “ongoing discussion about classification” that has been made public recently. He said he couldn’t comment further.

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for the 2016 nomination, exclusively used a private email account and a home server during her time in government. She said this was a decision made out of convenience and has denied doing anything wrong.

An extension would push the complete publication of Clinton’s emails past several of the earliest primary contests, including the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire. If they come out instead on Feb. 29, it would be a day before the critical Super Tuesday primaries.