The latest spy-thriller-worthy plot point in the ongoing real-life drama over Hillary Clinton's exclusive use of a privately run email account comes via Fox News, which reports, via an anonymous source, that…
An FBI "A-team" is leading the "extremely serious" investigation into Hillary Clinton's server and the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," an intelligence source told Fox News.
The section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793.
A separate source, who also was not authorized to speak on the record, said the FBI will further determine whether Clinton should have known, based on the quality and detail of the material, that emails passing through her server contained classified information regardless of the markings. The campaign's standard defense and that of Clinton is that she "never sent nor received any email that was marked classified" at the time.
It's worth noting here that Clinton's opening bid on the email controversy, which has since been modified and updated in numerous ways as it has proven to be less than perfectly accurate, was the following quote: "I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. I'm certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material." Anyway, take the Fox News report with appropriate skepticism given the lack of clear, on the record sourcing. Even still, it's a reminder that there are lots of potential time bombs that could be hidden in the email story.
In other Hillary Clinton email news this week:
Her campaign has shifted its approach to questions about her email. After some awkward jokes (she loves Snapchat because the messages disappear automatically! the server was wiped…with, what, like, a cloth or something?) she's finally taking the issue seriously.
Probably related: The New York Times interviewed 75 Democrats and Clinton supporters, and found that they don't think she's handling it particularly well. In particular, they don't like her jokes. Also, despite Team Clinton's outward projection of confidence that the issue is trivial and will soon disappear, the Times reports, "aides have privately told supporters that the email issue is not going away anytime soon."
Also probably (definitely) related: This week's Quinnipiac University poll found that 61 percent of voters don't believe that Clinton is either honest or trustworthy. Indeed, for a lot of voters, the first thing that comes to mind when they're asked about her is her lies. As Politico reports:
When voters were asked the first word that came to their mind about Clinton, the top three replies were indictments of her trustworthiness. The No. 1response was "liar," followed by "dishonest" and "untrustworthy." Overall, more than a third of poll respondents said their first thought about Clinton was some version of: She's a liar.
This may, I suspect, be at least partially due to the fact the she keeps saying verifiably untrue things.