Hillary Clinton has instructed her aides to hand over the private email server she during her time as Secretary of State to the Justice Department but the move doesn’t mean the controversy will go away anytime soon for the Democratic frontrunner.
Roughly five months after Clinton held a press conference in which she admitted she used a personal email for “convenience,” her campaign announced late Tuesday that she would give the server, as well as a thumb drive containing copies of some of her emails, to federal investigators for analysis.
The move, which Clinton was under no legal obligation to make, comes after top congressional Republicans have spent months hollering for her to do so.
Their criticisms taken a toll on Clinton’s poll numbers, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gaining ground on her significantly as questions swirl about her trustworthiness.
Yet while Clinton may have relented for now, there is no end in sight for the email saga.
As first reported by McClatchy, the inspector general for the intelligence community informed members of Congress on Tuesday that two of the messages relayed through Clinton’s server contained information that warranted them being labeled “top secret,” though they were not labeled as such at the time.
The State Department is reportedly appealing to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence about the watchdog’s claim, suggesting a turf war inside the federal government about the classification of documents.
Still, it’s the politics that could prove most damaging to Clinton’s flagging White House bid.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican presidential hopeful, wasted no time chiding her over the latest developments.
“This is a serious and potentially criminal offense that proves Hillary Clinton put her own personal convenience ahead of the safety and security of the American people. She cannot be trusted to keep America’s secrets or its citizens safe, and therefore cannot be trusted to be commander in chief,” he said in a statement.
House Select Committee on Benghazi chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC) piled on.
“Secretary Clinton's decision to prioritize her own convenience -- and desire for control -- over the security of our country's intelligence should concern all people of good conscience. This is a serious national security issue, and the seriousness of it should transcend normal, partisan politics,” according to Gowdy, whose panel uncovered the use of the private server earlier this year.
That revelation and the “multitude of issues that emanated from her decision, including this most recent one, demonstrates what can happen when Congress and those equally committed to exposing the truth, doggedly pursue facts and follow them,” he said in a statement.
As the political tempest swirls, more surprises could be in store for Clinton as DOJ inspects the device.
Even though Clinton’s attorney maintains the machine has been “wiped clean,” if so much as a single, previously undisclosed work-related message is recovered, it would open her to new GOP attacks about her honesty and trustworthiness.