Using a brand of laptop that's been banned by the federal government since 2006 because of the creator's ties to the Chinese government, one of Hillary Clinton's lawyers perused through the former secretary of state's private email server.
That decision, according to House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), may have given hackers the opportunity to access sensitive information on the server the Democratic presidential nominee used during her time at the State Department.
Heather Samuelson searched through the emails on two Lenovo laptops in an effort to help determine which emails should be designated as personal and which should be marked as work-related.
"It seems clear that Secretary Clinton and her associates played fast and loose with our national security, and yet no one — not a single person involved in this harmful fiasco — has been held accountable," Goodlatte wrote to FBI Director James Comey after discovering the computers the lawyer used.
And it seems the lawmaker may have somewhat of a point.
In 2015, the federally-banned brand admitted to installing a program called "Superfish," a malware that seriously undermines the computers' security protocols, on 43 of its models, specifically those that Samuelson was using, Goodlatte said.
Lenovo began installing the malicious software in 2010, according to the Department of Homeland Security. It was intended to place advertisements on users' screens, but also had adverse security effects. The malware made it easier for hackers to break into files remotely.
Samuelson went through the personal server in 2014, before Lenovo was caught installing the malware on its products. According to Goodlatte, the use of Lenovo computers could mean "Clinton’s emails were obtained by the Chinese government – before the State Department, FBI, or any other agency had redacted Top Secret and Special Access Program (SAP) information."
"This information is so highly classified that even Congressional oversight committees were not able to review the emails," he added.
Since learning about the devices Samuelson used to search her boss's documents, the Virginia congressman has asked Comey if they looked into the lawyer's laptops during their investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server.
News of the potential Chinese access to Clinton's files comes the same day the State Department announced that classified information had been found on an email the Democratic standard-bearer deleted from her server.