Hillary Clinton’s attorney has been allowed to keep emails now known to be classified, but the inspector general of the intelligence community was denied access to the same emails upon request, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday.
“The counsel for former Secretary Clinton advised the department at the time that [the cache of emails] was subject to a separate document request” from the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said Mark Toner, State Department spokesman.
Toner said the intelligence community inspector general’s request was denied on “jurisdictional” grounds.
The intelligence watchdog raised concerns about the classified information that was transmitted on Clinton’s server last month after discovering four classified emails among a sample of 40.
However, the State Department apparently prevented him from surveying the rest of Clinton’s emails.
“It’s not incumbent on us to allow the [intelligence community inspector general] access to these emails,” Toner said.
He noted members of the intelligence community have been allowed to assist State Department reviewers in their screening of emails for sensitive material before releasing those records to the public.
But the inspector general’s office is a completely separate entity, raising questions about whether including members of the intelligence community in the process will do anything to address the watchdog’s concerns.
David Kendall, Clinton’s attorney, has meanwhile been permitted to retain copies of the more than 30,000 emails Clinton provided to the State Department last year.
Hundreds of those documents are likely to contain classified information, inspectors general have warned.
Toner said the FBI has visited Kendall’s office to ensure the documents are being kept in a secure location, and stressed the fact that Kendall has security clearance.
Scrutiny over Clinton’s email arrangement intensified after the New York Times reported two inspectors general had asked the Justice Department to look into whether classified material was mishandled on the server — which would be a violation of federal law.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday on an emerging FBI probe into the server arrangement, although the specific focus of the inquiry is still unclear.