Smoking Gun? Hillary Signed NDA Spelling Out Criminal Penalties For Mishandling Info
As the nation’s chief diplomat, Hillary Clinton was responsible for ascertaining whether information in her possession was classified and acknowledged that “negligent handling” of that information could jeopardize national security, according to a copy of an agreement she signed upon taking the job.
A day after assuming office as secretary of state, Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement that laid out criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information.
Experts have guessed that Clinton signed such an agreement, but a copy of her specific contract, obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute through an open records request and shared with the Washington Free Beacon, reveals for the first time the exact language of the NDA.
“I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of SCI by me could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation,” the agreement states.
Clinton received at least two emails while secretary of state on her personal email server since marked “TS/SCI”—top secret/sensitive compartmented information—according to the U.S. intelligence community’s inspector general.
The State Department said in September that Clinton’s private email system, set up at her Chappaqua, N.Y., home, was not authorized to handle SCI.
The Democratic presidential frontrunner defended her unauthorized possession of SCI and her sending of emails containing classified information by claiming that the information was not marked as classified when it was sent or received.
The language of her NDA suggests it was Clinton’s responsibility to ascertain whether information shared through her private email server was, in fact, classified.
“I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with appropriate management authorities in the Department … in order to ensure that I know whether information or material within my knowledge or control that I have reason to believe might be SCI,” the agreement says.
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the NDA.