It doesn't matter which side of the political tape you fall on, one of the biggest controversies stirring during the election season is Hillary Clinton's email server. The controversy surrounding her server grew last Friday when a handful of emails were deemed top secret and withheld from public release.
"The documents have been upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because they contain a category of top secret information," State Department spokesman John Kirby said. He would not comment on the content or subject of the blocked documents.
So why has Hillary Clinton's private email server sparked so much controversy? To put it simply, Clinton is accused of having a "private" server that was not within the government's network and was used to communicate "classified" emails that may have revealed government secrets.
Bear in mind the investigation surrounds more than just Hilary Clinton as some of her closest aides also sent messages. Recent reports have even linked correspondence from President Barak Obama.
The revelation of new top secret emails has "raised serious legal questions given the fact Hillary Clinton signed a legally binding agreement obligating her to protect classified material regardless of whether it was marked."
From a legal standpoint, the potential criminality expands past the emails and the server. It is rooted in the fact that Secretary Clinton stored sensitive emails on private servers that didn't meet government cyber-security standards. It is this act that would be the criminal violation.
The FBI has committed over 100 agents full time to the investigation, which draws a great deal of attention as to how serious a situation this is. Depending on the investigation's findings and the actions of the Justice Department, Secretary Clinton and her aides could realistically face criminal charges.
Of course as it stands now, the law Clinton would have allegedly violated was 18 U.S.C. A § 793 which in summary states an individual entrusted with sensitive information that exhibits gross negligence or having knowledge of negligent behavior is subject to a fine, under 10 years imprisonment or both.
Some legal experts have stated that if this law were applied to Clinton's case, it would be a stretch at best and that should the case be pushed through, it would be difficult to prove.
The investigation is ongoing and time will tell how the case unfolds. Hopefully this provides some clarity to a situation that has been blurred by separate political parties. It will undoubtedly be a hot topic for political debates for the rest of the year, and will only get hotter as election season rolls around.