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Presidential Election 2016

REVEALED: Hacking Fears Ignited Hillary Clinton FBI Investigation

//hillary clinton email scandal hacking fears caused fbi investigation

Aug. 11 2016, Updated 4:31 p.m. ET

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The FBI probe of Hillary Clinton's private email server was triggered by news that hackers might have compromised her account and shared the information with a foreign agent, a new report claims.

Vice News  obtained two secret letters that were sent from the FBI to the State Department in October 2015 and January 2016.

The letters revealed that the FBI probe into the Clinton's private email "stemmed from a so-called 'Section 811' referral from the Intelligence Community's Inspector General (ICIG)," Vice News reported. Section 811 is part of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1995 and it grants the executive branch and the FBI to coordinate on "counterespionage investigations."

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Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, told Vice News that a Section 811 recommendation "arises whenever there is a compromise of classified information — for whatever reason."

He went on to say it "could include espionage, but it could also include negligence, inadvertence, or something else." But Aftergood confirmed that Section 811 does not "assert a violation of criminal law."

In July, FBI director James Comey announced that the FBI would not prosecute Clinton for the misuse of classified information in her private email server, but he did say she acted with "extreme carelessness" and admitted that there was a possibility that "hostile actors gained access," NBC news reported.

There was no direct evidence that Clinton's server was hacked, but the letters, written by Peter Strzok and Charles H. Kable IV, the section chiefs of the FBI's counterespionage section, mentioned there being a "potential compromise" when "the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and the ICIG reviewed electronic mail (email) communications from the private email accounts previously used by a former Secretary of State during her tenure at DoS."

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Cyber attacks have made this a whirlwind election for the Democratic party so far. Over the last few months hackers have caused chaos in the party, forcing staffer resignations and increasing voters' suspicions. Romanian hacker Guccifer claimed he easily breached Clinton's server in 2013, a copycat named Guccifer 2.0 then leaked top secret data from the democratic national committee, and the Russian government allegedly hacked in the DNC as well prompting Donald Trump to request they find more of Clinton's missing emails.

But now the New York Times is reporting  that the FBI believes Russian hackers have breached more than just the DNC. Though it remains unclear which groups the hackers infiltrated, the FBI has widened the scope of its investigation, speculating that the private emails of at least 100 party officials and groups were hacked.

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