WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.
Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.
It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department.Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.
See, this is a bit problematic, and not just for the New York Times’ stated reason (National Archives). There are tens of thousands of e-mails in which Hillary Clinton, in her role as the Secretary of State, did not use a government address. Her work was done on a private address, one that we can’t get access using normal FOIA means. The e-mails could be long deleted, inaccessible unless there are some records available through her staff’s government e-mails, but we’ve seen how effectively Congress has been able to get those from other government agencies.
This… Well, perhaps Mollie Hemingway puts it best.
BONUS ROUND: This piece from my colleague Aaron Gardner really requires some answers now. I wonder who at State will step up to the mic and talk to the Veterans for a Strong America? “We’d love to fill out your FOIA request, but the former Secretary deleted her Gmail account. Oops!”
FUN TIMES: WaPo nows has a piece up showing that a domain called “clintonemail.com” was registered one week before her initial Senate confirmation hearings.
The New York Times reported Monday night that, during her tenure at the State Department, Hillary Clinton never used her official email account to conduct communications, relying instead on a private email account. As the Times notes, only official accounts are automatically retained under the Federal Records Act, meaning that none of Clinton’s email communication was preserved.
In March 2013, an adviser to Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, had his email hacked by “Guccifer” — the Romanian hacker perhaps best known for revealing George W. Bush’s paintings to the world. At the time, Gawker reported that Blumenthal was communicating with an account that appeared to belong to Clinton at the “clintonemail.com” domain. The content of some of those emails was published by RT.com.
Examining the registry information for “clintonemail.com” reveals that the domain was first created on January 13, 2009 — one week before President Obama was sworn into office, and the same day that Clinton’s confirmation hearings began before the Senate.
EDIT THE THIRD: Apparently, Blake Hounshell of POLITICO has a question. I’d like to answer it: The Freedom of Information Act was first enacted in 1966. I may not have my dates exactly right, but I’m pretty sure that was before e-mail was invented. Maybe you can start there and work your way through some archives on the subject.