How secret is it? (14)

In their most recent update on the Clinton email investigation, Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne report that the FBI has interviewed Bryan Pagliano, the assistant who set up Clinton’s insecure private server for her official State Department business. Having received some form of immunity, Pagliano “has told the FBI a range of details about how her personal email system was set up, according to an intelligence source close to the case who called him a ‘devastating witness.’” It is not entirely clear to me why Paglilano is “a devastating witness.” Here is what they say:

“Bryan Pagliano is a devastating witness and, as the webmaster, knows exactly who had access to [Clinton’s] computer and devices at specific times. His importance to this case cannot be over-emphasized,” the intelligence source said.

The source, who is not authorized to speak on the record due to the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation, said Pagliano has provided information allowing investigators to knit together the emails with other evidence, including images of Clinton on the road as secretary of state.

The cross-referencing of evidence could help investigators pinpoint potential gaps in the email record. “Don’t forget all those photos with her using various devices and it is easy to track the whereabouts of her phone,” the source said. “It is still boils down to a paper case. Did you email at this time from your home or elsewhere using this device? And here is a picture of you and your aides holding the devices.”

Herring and Browne elaborate with reference to Clinton’s lying-lcas-fast-as-she-can performance in the recent Democratic debate:

At a Democratic debate Wednesday evening, Clinton brushed off the question when asked by the moderator whether she would withdraw from the presidential race if faced with criminal charges.

Univision’s Jorge Ramos asked, “If you get indicted, will you drop out?” Clinton responded, “My goodness. That is not going to happen. I’m not even answering that question.”

She then added her now standard explanation that nothing she sent or received was marked classified at the time. While technically correct, the distinction appears misleading. The January 2009 classified information non-disclosure agreement signed by Clinton says she understood that classified information could be marked and unmarked, as well as verbal communications.

Classification is based on content, not markings.

The intelligence source said the FBI is “extremely focused” on the 22 “top secret” emails deemed too damaging to national security to publicly release under any circumstances, with agents reviewing those sent by Clinton as well her subordinates including former chief of staff Cheryl Mills.

“Mrs. Clinton sending them in this instance would show her intent much more than would receiving [them],” the source said. “Hillary Clinton was at a minimum grossly negligent in her handling of NDI [National Defense Information] materials merely by her insisting that she utilize a private server versus a [U.S. government] server. Remember, NDI does not have to be classified.” According to the Congressional Research Service, NDI is broadly defined to include “information that they have reason to know could be used to harm the national security.”

It was emphasized to Fox News that Clinton’s deliberate “creation” and “control” of the private server used for her official government business is the subject of intense scrutiny. Pagliano knows key details as to how the private server was installed and maintained in her home.

Repeat this for emphasis: “Classification is based on content, not markings.” Has Clinton ever been quizzed on this basic point in any of the interviews during which she has reiterated her talking points? Even Bret Baier fumbled away the opportunity in the Fox News town hall with Clinton on Monday. Maybe someday.

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