Thousands of Hillary Clinton emails released
Washington, Sep 1 (AFP) The US State Department released over 4,000 more of the emails former secretary of state Hillary Clinton kept on a private server today and revealed that some 150 others have been retroactively classified.
Reporters and Clinton's rivals as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination began scouring 7,000 additional pages of messages from the mails she handed over earlier this year after coming under fire for operating the unofficial server.
But perhaps the greater danger to her, with no smoking gun emerging immediately as the hunt began, lay in the mails which officials said had now seen their security status upgraded to "classified" or above, implying they should not have been sent.
"I think it's somewhere around 150," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters, adding that the process of reevaluating the remaining unreleased emails was continuing.
Last month, officials said that 63 other mails had also been "upgraded in some form."
Clinton has been criticized for using a private server rather than an official government domain for all her emails during her time at the State Department.
Critics allege that she used the so-called "homebrew server" -- physically located in the bathroom of a private Internet provider -- to avoid political scrutiny of her time as the top US diplomat.
They also charge that she put national security at risk by taking classified information out of supposedly secure government systems and putting it onto an unauthorized network that could be prey to hackers.
Clinton, for her part, insists none of the mails on the private server was formally marked "classified" nor any higher designation such as "top secret."
If the probe reveals that classified or secret information was shared on un-secured networks or with individuals without a security clearance, Clinton or her staff could face legal consequences.
Toner confirmed that the review, being overseen by the Intelligence Community Inspector General, has so far found no mails directly marked "classified."
But while the material reviewed so far was not marked "classified," the number of mails containing sensitive information that are now in hindsight thought worthy of classification is on the rise.