Hillary Clinton “did not comply” with State Department policies when she chose to use a personal email account to conduct government business, according to an inspector general’s report released Wednesday.
The State Department also faulted Hillary Clinton and previous secretaries of state for poorly managing email and other computer information and slowly responding to new cybersecurity risks.
The report cites “longstanding, systemic weaknesses” related to communications that before Clinton’s appointment as secretary of state. The State Department singled out Clinton’s failures as “more serious,” however, according to the AP.
The 78-page report says the department and its secretaries were “slow to recognise and to manage effectively the legal requirements and cybersecurity risks associated with electronic data communications, particularly as those risks pertain to its most senior leadership.”
The report seems to answer the biggest question surrounding Clinton’s setup, which is whether her use of a personal email account to do government business defied State Department policies requiring that anything relating to agency activity be captured on the department’s server.
“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 read, according to Politico.
Clinton’s email scandal has dogged the 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner for nearly a year. Last March, she first admitted to exclusively using a private email account to send and receive work-related emails while she served as secretary of state.
The controversy compelled her to hand over roughly 30,000 work-related emails to the State Department, which have been released in batches since last year.
Significantly, Clinton deleted about 30,000 additional emails from her server that she says were “personal” in nature before handing it over to the FBI in August, 5 months after handing over individual emails to the State Department. The FBI investigation, which is separate from the State Department investigation, has been looking into whether Clinton or her aides mishandled classified material by using a private email account.
Around the time she handed over the server to the FBI, a House committee requested access to it to ensure that she had not deleted any work-related emails. But her lawyer, David Kendall, told the committee that Clinton aides had changed the server’s settings so that only emails she sent and received in the previous 60 days would be saved.
Investigators also are attempting to find out whether any sensitive information was stored on the server after it was handed it over from her former IT director’s oversight to Platte River, which is “not cleared” to have access to classified material.
The IT director, Bryan Pagliano, was granted immunity by the Justice Department in March exchange for his cooperation with the investigation into Clinton’s server.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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