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Here are the most critical parts of the State Department inspector general report on Clinton’s email use
By Carol Morello and Jia Lynn Yang May 25 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta in October 2011. (Pool photo by Kevin Lamarque via AP)
The State Department’s independent watchdog released an 83-page report Wednesday to lawmakers concluding that Hillary Clinton’s email practices did not comply with department policies.
Below are some of the most revealing parts of the findings:
- The report concludes that Clinton’s use of a personal email account was “not an appropriate method.” This knocks down a key argument made in Clinton’s defense — that because she had emailed State Department officials on their government accounts, records of her communications were preserved.
In June 2011, there were two hacking attempts on the Clinton email system in one day. An adviser to President Bill Clinton tried to shut down the server each time.
There were warnings issued to senior State Department officials that hackers were targeting personal email accounts. Below, an excerpt from a March 11, 2011, memo written by the assistant secretary of diplomatic security.
The audit also covered Clinton’s aides, some of whom did not cooperate when asked to respond to a questionnaire about email use. Some of the aides used their personal email accounts extensively for official business.
The package of emails turned over by Clinton was “incomplete.”
IT security officials were concerned about Clinton’s use of personal email and held meetings to discuss the need to preserve records and security. One staff member said the security director said the email system had been approved by state’s legal staff. The IG did not find evidence that the department’s legal adviser had reviewed or approved Clinton’s email system.
Another staff member who raised issues was told that their mission was “to support the Secretary, and instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again.”
- The report also criticizes Colin Powell’s handling of official emails during his tenure as secretary of state, saying it was also “not an appropriate method” for preserving emails that are part of the federal record. When asked to defend her email system, Clinton has said that her predecessors also used personal accounts.
But the report also notes that by the time Clinton became secretary of state, the guidance on email use was much more detailed, suggesting that pointing to Powell is not an entirely fair comparison.
Tom Hamburger, Rosalind Helderman and Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.
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