Exclusive to The Middle East Online
Edited by Nelly Tawil
Hilary Clinton’s campaign for the White House suffered a severe blow after an official report into her use of emails as secretary of State concluded that she breached government rules.
The findings from the State Department revealed along with it Clinton’s reluctance to use an official email account, the conclusions were shared with Capital Hill on Wednesday and a copy was passed on to POLITICO. The report detailed how some employees who questioned the wisdom of the homegrown setup were told to stop asking questions, and the audit confirmed apparent hacking attempts on the private server.
“This report makes clear that personal email use was the practice of other secretaries of state,” Clinton said in an interview in Las Vegas, Nervada. “It was allowed. And the rules have been clarified since I left.”
The State Department’s Office of Inspector General remarked on Ms Clinton’s actions saying she shouldn’t have used a private email server to conduct official business and would have not been allowed to do so had she asked. It also found that she should have turned over her emails after her tenure and violated department policy.
The report stated “Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary.
“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 also notes that she had an “obligation to discuss using her personal email account” however failed to gain permission from the people who would have needed to approve the technology, who said they would not have done so, if they had been asked.
Clinton explained her actions and her decision not to cooperate with the State Department investigators, despite repeatedly saying she would talk to anyone, anytime about her emails.
“I have talked about his for many, many months,” she said. “I testified for 11 hours before the Benghazi committee. I have answered numerous questions. We have posted information on our website and the information that we had is out there. It’s been clearly public and my email use was widely known throughout the department, throughout the government, and I have provided all of my work related emails, and I’ve asked that they be made public.”
In September the agency announces that it will indict her on charges of destroying classified government information.
Among 30, 000 emails she said that she deleted from the private server that she used while secretary of State, agents have found classified communication. Not only should they have not been there in the first place, they should certainly not have been destroyed.
The charges are serious and may carry jail term.
Mrs Clinton’s presidential race may come to an early end as voters decide whether or not to trust a candidate with a prison sentence hanging over their head.