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State Department has terrible, but familiar, news for Hillary Clinton

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's Benghazi investigation isn't over yet. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton just got very bad, yet familiar, news from the State Department — she's under federal investigation again. The probe centers on the well-known accusations that Clinton and her staff mishandled classified information.

Fox News reported that the State Department has opened the investigation anew, though Clinton and her associates will retain their security clearance designations.

The department’s investigation aims to determine whether Clinton and her closest aides violated government protocols by using her private server to receive, hold and transmit classified and top-secret government documents. The department declined to say when its inquiry began, but it follows the conclusion of the FBI’s probe into the matter, which did not result in any actions being taken against Clinton or any of her aides.

Fox News said that Clinton and her aides could have their security clearance privileges revoked based on the findings of the investigation.

The existence of Clinton's controversial private email server was discovered during the congressional hearings into the Benghazi debacle headed by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). The mishandling of classified information was used by Donald Trump, then a candidate, to bludgeon Clinton's candidacy and heighten the appearance of incompetence and corruption on the Democrat side.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) confirmed the existence of the investigation to Fox News even as his committee conducted their own probe into Clinton's carelessness. Grassley said there appeared to be “evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information.”

Grassley cited the controversial statement from former FBI Director James Comey that outlined the many violations Clinton made against the State Department's policy on document security. Comey later said that Clinton should not be criminally prosecuted for her violations, but his statement has been widely cited by Clinton allies as the central reason she lost the election.

Fox News outlined the findings that were problematic for Clinton:

During the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s use of top-secret and classified information on her private server, Comey said there were seven email chains on Clinton’s computer that were classified at the “Top Secret/Special Access Program level.” Another 2,000 emails on her private server were found to have contained information deemed classified now, though not marked classified when sent. In addition, the server also contained 22 top-secret emails deemed too damaging to national security to be released.

Clinton's spokesperson contradicted the report, saying, “Nothing's been more thoroughly dissected. It's over. Case closed. Literally."

One last thing…
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