Two of the four classified messages discovered in emails turned over to the State Department by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were labeled “top secret,” the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday.
Clinton’s emails have been under scrutiny since it was revealed that she used a private server in her home to send and receive messages when she was secretary of state.
The FBI has been looking into the security of the private server, and investigators have been trying to determine whether Clinton sent or received classified information on an unsecured system.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said
Tuesday night that Charles McCullough, the inspector general for U.S. intelligence agencies, had reported that two of the emails not only were classified but were in fact categorized as
“Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information”
— one of the strictest security classifications.
Clinton aides have maintained that nothing on her server was classified at the time she saw it, suggesting that classified messages were given the label after the fact.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the State Department, said that was the case with two emails, adding that it remained unclear "whether, in fact, this material is actually classified."
"Department employees circulated these emails on unclassified systems in 2009 and 2011, and ultimately some were forwarded to Secretary Clinton," Kirby said Tuesday. "They were not marked as classified."
Nick Merrill, the Clinton campaign's press secretary, said Clinton had "pledged to cooperate with the government's security inquiry, and if there are more questions, we will continue to address them."
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said "it's about time" Clinton handed over the server.
"Secretary Clinton's previous statements that she possessed no classified information were patently untrue," Boehner said. "Her mishandling of classified information must be fully investigated."