Clinton 'Surprised' by Staffer Using Private Email, New Docs Show

With today's release, State Dept. has published 82 percent of Clinton's email.

January 8, 2016, 6:15 PM

— -- Hillary Clinton -- embroiled in controversy over her use of private email for official purposes -- expressed surprise that a State Department staffer was using a personal email account to discuss work-related business, according to a newly released document.

The note is among the 3,007 pages of the former Secretary of State's emails that the State Department released early this morning, bringing the total public production so far to 82 percent of the documents, a court-mandated goal the department failed to reach at the end of last month.

In a document dated Feb. 27, 2011, Clinton sends an email to her top adviser, Jake Sullivan, in which she expressed surprise that a State Department staffer was using a personal email account to discuss official business.

The email chain shows that a diplomatic officer named John Godfrey wrote a detailed summary of information about Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi that was soon forwarded to Clinton. Sullivan writes to Clinton that it’s “Worth a read. This guy is very thoughtful.”

Clinton responds by asking for whom Godfrey works. “Us,” Sullivan writes back. Clinton replies: “Is he in NEA [Near Eastern Affairs] currently? Or was he in Embassy? I was surprised that he used personal email account if he is at State.”

Another new email draws into question Clinton's handling of sensitive information. In June of 2011 Clinton's aides are trying to share with her some important "TPs" (talking points) via secure fax, but they are having trouble sending it. An impatient Clinton tells Sullivan:

"If they can't, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure."

The "heading" could refer to the email's markings and classification. Clinton has long maintained that she never received or sent anything "marked" classified.

In a statement to the press Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called it a "disturbing email" that "raises a host of serious questions and underscores the importance of the various inquiries into the transmittal of classified information through her non-government email server."

But Clinton's campaign spokesman Brian Fallon denied the notion that there was a request to transmit classified information. "It is false that Hillary Clinton asked for classified material to be sent over a nonsecure system,” Fallon said in an email to ABC News.

Campaign officials also noted that just because something resides on a secure system doesn't mean it can't include unclassified material.

State Department Spokesman John Kirby said today that the Department did "forensic" research on the matter and was unable to find any evidence that Sullivan or anyone else actually complied with Clinton's direction to send the talking points via email. Kirby also said no hard copy of the talking points were ever found and therefore he has no way of knowing if any of that material was actually classified.

ABC News has requested the documents.

The new emails also show that Clinton took an interest in the Gen. David Petraeus scandal that eventually ended his career. Her longtime friend and adviser Sidney Blumenthal passed along breaking updates written like high school gossip.

In November of 2012, he sends her an email with a message from writer Jane Mayer, the wife of a New York Times editor in charge of the Petraeus story. "Omigod- there's a new twist," Mayer writes. "You wont believe who tipped off the FBI... you're going to like this."

That person, it turns out, was Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. Her involvement in the scandal soon implicated another top military official, Gen. John Allen, who was then commanding international forces in Afghanistan.

The next and final set of Clinton email is scheduled to be released at the end of the month. If fulfilled altogether, it will be the largest document release to date.

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