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Cummings notes classified emails sent to Powell, Rice aides

Cummings notes classified emails sent to Powell, Rice aides
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is the top-ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

The State Department's inspector general has found that former Secretary of State Colin Powell and staff close to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received classified national security information on their personal accounts, according to information disclosed Thursday by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings.

Cummings, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is using the revelation to call into question the attention Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is receiving for similar actions.

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"My concern has been that Republicans are spending millions of taxpayer dollars singling out Secretary Clinton because she is running for president...while at the same time disregarding the actions of Republican Secretaries of State," Cummings said in a statement Thursday. "Based on this new revelation, it is clear that the Republican investigations are nothing more than a transparent political attempt to use taxpayer funds to target the Democratic candidate for president."

Revelations about Clinton's use of a personal email server have dogged her presidential campaign.

According to a letter Cummings has written to Secretary of State John Kerry, the inspector general is reviewing the records preservation practices of five former secretaries of state and their immediate staffs. Auditors said 12 emails being reviewed contained classified national security information -- two to Powell and 10 to Rice's immediate staff.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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