Cummings Issues Statement on Revelation that Classified Information Found on Personal Email Accounts of Colin Powell and Immediate Staff of Condoleezza Rice

Feb 4, 2016
Press Release

Cummings Issues Statement on Revelation that Classified Information Found on Personal Email Accounts of Colin Powell and Immediate Staff of Condoleezza Rice

 

Cummings Sends Letter Requesting Documents from State Department

 

Washington, DC (Feb. 4, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement in response to new disclosures that former Secretary Colin Powell and the immediate staff of former Secretary Condoleezza Rice received classified national security information on their personal email accounts:

“I have always been highly skeptical as Republicans across Capitol Hill have been competing with each other to launch numerous investigations of Secretary Clinton and her email practices, and just this morning, press accounts reported that the Oversight Committee may be the latest of these Republican inquiries.  My concern has been that Republicans are spending millions of taxpayer dollars singling out Secretary Clinton because she is running for President—often leaking inaccurate information—while at the same time disregarding the actions of Republican Secretaries of State.  In fact, none of the emails Secretary Clinton received was marked classified, and we have seen no evidence that any previous Secretary of State used an official email account.
“Last night, we were informed by the State Department Inspector General that former Secretary Colin Powell and the immediate staff of former Secretary Condoleezza Rice received classified national security information on their personal email accounts.  The emails apparently had no classification markings, and it remains unclear whether the information in the emails was or should have been considered classified at the time it was sent.
“Based on this new revelation, it is clear that the Republican investigations are nothing more than a transparent political attempt to use taxpayer funds to target the Democratic candidate for President.”

The State Department Inspector General disclosed this new information last night in a memo to Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s Under Secretary of State for Management. 

The memo explains that the Inspector General is reviewing the email practices of the five previous Secretaries of State.  As part of that review, the memo states that on December 29, 2015, the State Department determined that 12 emails obtained by the Inspector General contained classified national security information, two of which went to the personal email account of former Secretary Powell and ten of which went to the personal email accounts of the immediate staff of former Secretary Rice.

The memo states that the information was not marked as classified.  The Inspector General raised concerns that additional potentially classified may continue to reside in the Department’s unclassified archives associated with Secretaries Powell and Rice and their respective staffs and recommended that the Department review those archives and remove all classified information.

In light of this new information, Cummings sent a letter today to the State Department requesting copies of the emails at issue, as well as correspondence between the State Department, the Inspector General, and others.

114th Congress