Politically, Clinton has lost the final argument in her public arsenal—that she did not recognize top-secret data unless it was marked as top secret.

Sanders isn’t even a Democrat. According to official Senate records, he is an “Independent Socialist” who votes to organize the Senate with the Democrats, and sits on the Senate floor with them. Clinton, of course, is the heiress to the mightiest Democratic political apparatus in the land. Hence the question: What do the Iowa Democrats know that caused thousands of them to flee from her?

They know she is a crook.

On the Friday before Monday’s caucuses, the State Department, which Clinton headed in President Obama’s first term, revealed that it discovered 22 top-secret emails on the private computer server to which Clinton diverted all her governmental email traffic. This acknowledgement marks a radical departure from previous State Department pronouncements and is a direct repudiation of Clinton’s repeated assertions.

She has repeatedly asserted that she neither sent nor received anything “marked classified” using her private email server. The State Department, until last Friday, has backed that up by claiming that while the substance of at least 1,300 of her emails was confidential, secret or top secret, they were not “marked” as such when she dealt with them.

These are word games. First, under the law, nothing is “marked classified.” The markings are “confidential” or “secret” or “top secret,” and Clinton knows this. Second, under the law, it is not the markings on the email headers that make the contents state secrets; it is the vulnerability of the contents of the emails to impair the government’s national security mission that rationally characterizes them as secrets. Clinton knows this because she signed an oath on Jan. 22, 2009, recognizing that state secrets retain their secrecy status whether “marked or unmarked” by any of the secrecy designations. She knows as well that, under the law, the secretary of state is charged with knowing state secrets when she comes upon them.

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