Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton no longer has a security clearance. Five of her former aides also lost theirs, following a scandal over her use of a private email server while running the State Department.
Clinton’s security clearance “has been withdrawn at her request,” the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed on Friday, citing a State Department note dated September 21 .
The State Department document, doesn’t say anything about Clinton’s request, however, only that her clearance was “administratively withdrawn” on August 30, 2018, as part of the ongoing review of how Clinton and her staff handled classified documents using a private email server during her tenure.
“Clearances for five other individuals whom Clinton designated as researchers have also been withdrawn, including close aide Cheryl Mills,” the committee said. The State Department letter shows that this happened on September 20. The names of four other aides were redacted without explanation.
This timeline means that Clinton’s clearance was withdrawn two weeks after the Trump administration announced it would revoke the clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan, citing “the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior.” After resigning from the CIA, Brennan launched a career as a cable news pundit, criticizing Trump at every step and even accusing the president of treason over his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in July.
The White House said it would look into revoking the clearances of several other Obama administration officials, though no further withdrawals have been announced since.
Clinton served as the helm of the State Department from January 2009 to February 2013, when she resigned to launch her 2016 presidential bid. She has not held a government post since. By Washington custom, former officials retain their security clearances in case their successors need advice on sensitive matters, though that practice is being challenged under Trump.
Though she does not have an official role in the DNC, Clinton remains engaged in politics. Most recently, she said that Democrats should forego civility until they win in the November midterms, because Republicans are an “ideological party that is driven by the lust for power.”
“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
The use of a private email server by Clinton and a number of her aides – including confidant Huma Abedin – was first revealed in 2013, when Romanian hacker Marcel Lazar Lehel (aka Guccifer) leaked a number of messages from clintonemail.com.
By 2015, House Republicans investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks established that Clinton had almost exclusively used the server run from her Chappaqua, New York home instead of the secure State Department network. Clinton finally admitted the private server use in March 2015, months before Trump launched his presidential bid, but said that the messages did not contain classified information and that she meant no harm.
The FBI investigation did find classified messages among the thousands of emails. In July 2016, FBI Director James Comey publicly announced no charges would be filed in the case. The email scandal continued to dog Clinton to the very end of the campaign, however.