Committee Chairman Questions Whether Clinton Still Have Security Clearance

The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is directly questioning whether Hillary Clinton still maintains her security clearance despite the ongoing FBI investigation into the mishandling of classified information, according to a new letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.

In the Aug. 24 letter, which marks a significant expansion of the Republican senator's inquiry, Sen. Charles Grassley writes, "Since the intelligence community inspector general (IC IG) made a referral to the FBI pursuant to 50 U.S.C. §3381, has Clinton's security clearance been suspended pending the outcome of the inquiry?”

The suspension of a clearance is standard practice, a kind of interim step taken to preserve security until an investigation is complete, according to current and former military intelligence officials.

"If you have a circle of people and they are the source of the leak, all of them, normally would be suspended from their positions, they can't go in the building," Chris Farell, a former special agent for Army counterintelligence, told Fox News. Farrell now works as an investigator for Judicial Watch, which is suing for Clinton records.

"The clearances would be suspended by the security manager and it would be made known that there is an active investigation into the loss of classified information, and no information should be shared with these individuals pending the outcome," Farrell said.

In the four-page letter, Grassley said, based on a letter from Clinton's personal attorney David Kendall, that neither he nor his associate Katherine M. Turner had sufficient security clearances to handle the emails -- which contained at least two highly classified documents identified by the intelligence community's IG.  

"... neither Mr. Kendall nor Ms. Turner have a security clearance at a sufficient level to be a custodian of TS/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information) material," he wrote.

Grassley's letter also for the first time laid out a timeline that is key to the FBI investigation. The senator said Clinton provided copies of the emails to her lawyer in December 2014. Classified intelligence was identified in the emails in May 2015, but it wasn't until July that the State Department, in a highly unusual move, supplied Kendall with a safe -- a further admission that while Clinton says no documents stamped classified were sent or received by her, the State Department was concerned enough to provide secure storage to Kendall.

Grassley wrote: "... in light of that particular classification, which generally requires advanced protocols such as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) and other similar arrangements to possess and view, it appears the FBI has also determined that Mr. Kendall and Ms. Turner's clearance was not sufficient to maintain custody of the emails."

The FBI took physical custody of the server and thumb drives earlier this month. The statute covering the unlawful removal and retention of classified information falls under 18 US Code 1924.  There are also specific rules laid out by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on "denials and revocations" of security clearances and “damage assessments” for the unauthorized release of national security data. 

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Busy South Africa Building Integrates Custom Access Control System

    Nicol Corner, based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, South Africa, is home to a six-star fitness club, prime office space, and an award-winning rooftop restaurant. This is the first building in South Africa to have its glass façade fully incorporate fritted glazing, saving 35% on energy consumption. Nicol Corner (Pty) LTD has developed a landmark with sophisticated design and unique architecture by collaborating with industry-leading partners and specifying world-class equipment throughout the project. This includes installing a high-spec, bespoke security and access control system. Read Now

  • Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • FEP GameChanger

    FEP GameChanger

    Paige Datacom Solutions Introduces Important and Innovative Cabling Products GameChanger Cable, a proven and patented solution that significantly exceeds the reach of traditional category cable will now have a FEP/FEP construction. 3

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3

  • ResponderLink

    ResponderLink

    Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), an Alarm.com company and a global leader in gunshot detection solutions, has introduced ResponderLink, a groundbreaking new 911 notification service for gunshot events. ResponderLink completes the circle from detection to 911 notification to first responder awareness, giving law enforcement enhanced situational intelligence they urgently need to save lives. Integrating SDS’s proven gunshot detection system with Noonlight’s SendPolice platform, ResponderLink is the first solution to automatically deliver real-time gunshot detection data to 911 call centers and first responders. When shots are detected, the 911 dispatching center, also known as the Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP, is contacted based on the gunfire location, enabling faster initiation of life-saving emergency protocols. 3