Clinton forwarded chain of classified e-mails to daughter Chelsea

US Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) looks on as her daughter Chelsea Clinton speaks during a Family Town Hall event at Haverford Community Recreation and Environmental Center on Oct 4, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - Democratic presidential nomineee Hillary Clinton forwarded a chain of e-mails in 2009 to her daughter, Chelsea, that included information, most likely about climate talks, that the State Department later declared to be classified, according to a new batch of e-mails released on Friday (Nov 4).

The e-mail chain was among thousands of messages the FBI uncovered as part of its yearlong investigation into Mrs Clinton's handling of classified information on the private email server she used while secretary of state.

The State Department had previously released parts of the chain with the information entirely redacted. The disclosure on Friday appeared to be the first to show that Mrs Clinton had forwarded information of a delicate nature to her daughter, who had an e-mail address on her server under a pseudonym.

The chain, among 285 pages of e-mails released by the State Department on Friday, renewed attention on Mrs Clinton's handling of classified material, an issue that has dogged her campaign from its inception.

The FBI reignited the issue on October 28 when its director, Mr James B. Comey, informed Congress that investigators had uncovered additional e-mails to and from a close Clinton aide, Ms Huma Abedin, on the computer of her estranged husband, Mr Anthony D. Weiner.

Investigators are scouring those e-mails and have not yet said whether they are pertinent to an inquiry that seemingly ended in July when Mr Comey announced that he would not recommend criminal charges against Mrs Clinton or others over their handling of classified information.

The chain released on Friday was not marked classified at the time and was sent on the government's unclassified computer networks. Two of the notes in the chain were "upgraded" by the State Department - on the grounds that they contained information classified at the lowest level, "confidential" - when they were released last October.

Even if the information sent to Mrs Clinton's daughter was not classified at the time, it would be unusual for an exchange among senior administration officials to be forwarded to someone outside the government, even a close relative.

A spokesman for Mrs Clinton's campaign, Mr Brian Fallon, did not immediately respond to questions about the e-mail chain.

Mr Michael Short of the Republican National Committee said in a statement that the e-mail chain to Chelsea Clinton was "a stark reminder" of her mother's "reckless conduct that jeopardised our national security and sensitive diplomatic efforts."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.