The FBI has managed to recover deleted emails from Hillary Clinton’s supposedly wiped email server, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday night.
The discovery, if true, raises the possibility that Hillary’s private correspondence, which number about 30,000 emails and were supposedly deleted, will become public. Just how many emails the FBI has managed to recover from the server isn’t clear, Bloomberg says. In any case, they’re unlikely to be seen until the FBI’s investigation is concluded, which likely won’t be for several months.
The agency’s success recovering supposedly deleted emails, coupled with the non-classified “chain of custody” of Clinton’s server since her exodus from office, gives implications to one of the worst fears concerning the former secretary’s communications: They were more vulnerable to third-party exploitation than previously thought. Clinton had said she wiped the server prior to transferring it to the stewardship of Platte River Networks, her IT firm, which is not officially cleared to handle classified information.
The FBI seized Clinton’s private email server from the firm in August as part of an investigation into how and why classified government information wound up on it. The investigation has fueled speculation that there could have been criminal wrongdoing on the part of Clinton or her staff, although thus far she hasn’t been accused of anything.
Experts say the same FBI forensic investigation that resulted in recovered emails could also find digital clues, fingerprints of potential state or non-state hackers who attempted — perhaps successfully — to penetrate the system and steal the information.
Clinton has attracted a mountain of criticism after it was revealed earlier this year that she conducted all her business as Secretary of State via a private email address, instead of using a .gov email.
Besides the security risks of such an arrangement, Clinton’s approach has also drawn attention because it gives her the capability to hide certain emails from the State Department. Clinton claims to have turned over all her work-related emails, but the determination of what was “work-related” was entirely in the hands of Clinton and her attorneys, rather than internal government watchdogs. If the FBI has in fact discovered Clinton’s deleted emails, they may also find work-related ones that she failed to hand over.
Clinton has persistently denied any wrongdoing, only admitting the server was a mistake two weeks ago while rejecting the idea she has anything to hide. But the scandal appears to have had a major effect on her presidential run, as polls show the percentage of the public who view her as honest and trustworthy has plunged.
This report, by Blake Neff, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.