At least four classified Hillary Clinton emails had their markings changed to a category that shields the content from Congress and the public, Fox News has learned, in what State Department whistleblowers believed to be an effort to hide the true extent of classified information on the former secretary of state’s server.
The changes, which came to light after the first tranche of 296 Benghazi emails was released in May, was confirmed by two sources -- one congressional, the other intelligence. The four emails originally were marked classified after a review by career officials at the State Department. But after a second review by the department's legal office, the designation was switched to "B5" -- also known as "deliberative process," which refers to internal deliberations by the Executive Branch. Such discussions are exempt from public release.
The B5 coding has the effect, according to a congressional source, of dropping the email content "down a deep black hole."
According to recent congressional testimony, at least one of the lawyers in the office where the changes were made is Catherine “Kate” Duval, who now handles the release of documents to the Benghazi select committee and once worked for the same firm as Clinton's private attorney David Kendall.
Fox News is told there were internal department complaints that Duval, and a second lawyer also linked to Kendall, gave at the very least the appearance of a conflict of interest during the email review. A State Department spokesman did not dispute the basic facts of the incident, confirming to Fox News the disagreement over the four classified emails as well as the internal complaints. But the spokesman said the concerns were unfounded.
The whistleblowers told intelligence community officials that they did not agree with the B5 changes, and the changes had the effect of shielding the full extent of classified content on the server. The incident was referenced in a Washington Times report mid-August, but this is the first time fuller details have been available. Because the emails are now marked B5, or deliberative, it is impossible to know the content and relevance to the congressional and FBI investigations.
The internal State Department disagreement was so significant that it rose to the level of Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, who is deeply involved in the email controversy, as Clinton's server arrangement required his formal signoff or tacit approval. Asked who signed off on the private server on Tuesday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, "I personally don't know."RTWT.
THE SCUMMIEST LAWYERS DEPICTED IN "THE GOOD WIFE" WOULDN'T DO WHAT HILLARY, KENDALL AND DUVAL ARE DOING.
THEY DESERVE TO BE CHARGED, TRIED AND CONVICTED AS TRAITORS AND CONSPIRATORS AFTER THE FACT.