The State Department’s Inspector General released a scathing report Wednesday stating that Hillary Clinton’s deliberate and calculated use of a secret e-mail server violated State Dept. policies and federal open records laws.
The investigative report from the State department’s top watchdog states that Clinton was required to retain copies of all official correspondence and provide them to the State Department prior to stepping down as Secretary of State in 2013. Clinton failed to do so.
“At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act,” the report states.
Clinton isn’t just in trouble with the inspector general; she’s also being investigated by the FBI for violation of federal laws on the handling of classified information. By using a secret, unsanctioned, and unsecured private e-mail server that was housed in a bathroom for official State Department correspondence, Clinton put the lives of numerous Americans at risk, the IG report found.
The IG report also revealed that Clinton’s server was hacked multiple times, despite repeated claims that it never was.
One of Clinton’s top aides was warned in 2010 that using a personal e-mail for official correspondence would be a violation of the federal agency’s record-keeping policies. An e-mail released in the IG report today revealed that longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin asked the then-secretary if she wanted to get a state department email address. Clinton refused and instead opted for a secret, private e-mail server, citing privacy concerns:
‘In November 2010, Secretary Clinton and her Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations discussed the fact that Secretary Clinton’s emails to Department employees were not being received,’ the report said. ‘The Deputy Chief of Staff emailed the Secretary that “we should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam.’ In response, the Secretary wrote, ‘Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.’
The exchange between Clinton and Abedin confirms what many suspected was the real reason Clinton initially setup a private server: to shield herself from accountability and prevent the public from having a full and accurate picture of her taxpayer-funded work as Secretary of State.