Fox Business host Stuart Varney pushed the discredited claim that a recent set of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails that are being withheld from public release contain “the names of our intelligence people on the ground overseas involved in active intelligence work” in order to suggest that Clinton should be indicted by the FBI for mishandling classified information.
On January 29, the State Department announced that seven email chains from Clinton's private email server were withheld from public release because they had been retroactively determined to include Top Secret information.
Following the announcement, conservative media touted anonymously sourced claims that the email chains include “Holy Grail items of American espionage such as the true names of Central Intelligence Agency intelligence officers serving overseas under cover.”
NBC News debunked this claim in a February 4 article, explaining that several of the emails in question forwarded to Clinton reportedly contained “references to undercover CIA officers ... [b]ut contrary to some published reports, three officials said there was no email on Clinton's server that directly revealed the identity of an undercover intelligence operative.” NBC News also reported one “now-classified email chain originated with a member of the CIA director's staff, leading some officials to question how Clinton could be blamed.” A former senior CIA official told NBC News that “any suggestion that this email contained confirmation about the person or his cover, or any inappropriate information, is flat wrong.”
During the February 4 broadcast of Varney & Co., host Varney repeated the debunked claim that the withheld emails had “the names of our intelligence people on the ground overseas involved in active intelligence work”:
STUART VARNEY (HOST): From what you've been told openly in Congress by [Rep.] Chris Stewart [R-UT] and others, is there any way that the FBI will not recommend indictment?
REP. JORDAN (R-OH): Stuart, good to be with you. Look, that's the FBI's call, that's the Justice Department's call. Obviously, what Congressman Stewart had to say, I think, is pretty revealing, but they get to make the final decision. What we do know is from the start when Hillary Clinton, I happened to serve on the Benghazi Select Committee, we know that Secretary Clinton took her emails and decided which ones were public and which ones were private. She got to make that determination, we have no idea what search terms, what date parameters, who oversaw all that process, who made the decision, then the FBI goes in and gets the server and now we find out the FBI and State Department people are saying a number of these contain classified information. But in the end the FBI will decide.
VARNEY: I know the FBI will decide, but I just don't know see how they cannot indict, information of that kind naming the names of our intelligence people on the ground overseas involved in active intelligence work on her private server in her barn in Chappaqua available to all who can hack into it. I mean are you with me on this, can you see anyway the FBI cannot indict her, will not indict her?