The State Department has long had access to a wide array of Secretary Clinton’s records – including emails between her and Department officials with http://state.gov/ accounts,” [Deputy State Department spokesperson Marie Harf] said in a statement. [New York Times]
THIS IS nothing new, with Colin Powell using a personal email account to correspond with American officials and foreign governments, between 2001-2005, before current rules went into place. In fact, the New York Times and the Washington Post report that John F. Kerry is “the first secretary to use a standard government e-mail address ending in ‘state.gov.'”
According to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton is the only Secretary of State who has gone back into her own records and supplied email correspondence upon request, over 55,000 pages, according to the Times. Condoleezza Rice didn’t utilize email, and Colin Powell never turned over private email addressed missives.
Clinton’s spokesperson Nick Merrill said that the Secretary complied with the “letter and spirit of the law,” sending emails to people inside the State Department at their .gov email address, assuming this would guaranteed they be retained. Federal law makes exceptions for “certain classified and sensitive materials.”
Politicians use private email accounts for public business all the time. This includes Governor Scott Walker’s “secret” email system that included a private router, which was discovered during a prosecutorial probe. Governor Chris Christie who used Gmail and Yahoo email accounts, which was learned during the bridgegate investigation.
The private account was reportedly discovered during the Benghazi House investigation, the Times reports today, but that is actually wrong. Gawker was the first to report on the private email usage of Clinton, as Michael Tomasky reminds everyone at the Daily Beast.
There is no suggestion or any proof that Clinton or her aides refused to turn over email correspondence that originated on a private account.
“Like secretaries of state before her, she used her own email account when engaging with any Department officials. For government business, she emailed them on their Department accounts, with every expectation they would be retained.” – Nick Merrill [Washington Post]
This is a political story more than anything, because it’s clear the rules and regulations that changed some time around Clinton’s tenure at State were not being enforced by anyone.