State IG Confirms Clinton
Violated Email Regulations

Inspector general report contradicts Clinton campaign defense

BY:

Hillary Clinton did not comply with federal regulations designed to ensure the integrity of classified information during her tenure as secretary of state, according to a government report released on Wednesday.

Clinton failed to comply with National Archives and Records Administration regulations on the use of personal email accounts by senior administration officials, according to the report by the State Department’s inspector general.

Clinton and her top staffers refused to sit down for interviews with the IG in its research on their email practices, the IG revealed.

Its report directly contradicts claims by the Clinton presidential campaign. "The laws, regulations, and State Department policy in place during her tenure permitted her to use a non-government email for work," the campaign’s website claims.

That is false, according to the IG.

"She did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act," the report concluded.

The report threatens to revive controversy over Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal email account during her tenure as secretary, an issue that had quieted after the State Department finished releasing copies of emails sent to and from her personal account in February.

According to the IG report, Clinton failed to comply with regulations that require officials to turn over all official records and correspondence when they leave government employment.

"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," the IG wrote.

"At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service."

NARA officials told the IG that Clinton’s voluntary disclosure of tens of thousands of emails from her personal account—turned over more than a year after their existence was revealed through media reports—"mitigated" her violations of applicable regulations.

The report found that Clinton’s senior staff had also violated federal records regulations. "OIG concurs with NARA but also notes that Secretary Clinton’s production was incomplete," the report noted.

Clinton’s voluntary email production excluded all emails sent in the first two months of her tenure as secretary, despite "multiple instances in which Secretary Clinton’s personal email account sent and received official business email during this period."

That production also excluded "some emails that an external contact not employed by the Department sent to Secretary Clinton regarding Department business."

Clinton’s senior staffers also turned over thousands of emails—72,000 pages in paper form, according to the IG—but the report also faults them with violations of recordkeeping regulations.

"These staff failed to comply with Department policies intended to implement NARA regulations, because none of these emails [provided to the department] were preserved in Department recordkeeping systems prior to their production in 2015," the report found.

Regulations prohibiting the retention of federal agency records are designed to keep sensitive information contained in the departments themselves. Clinton has come under fire for sending and receiving classified information through her personal email account, and also for keeping the information on a private server in her home after she left the department.

According to the IG report, she did not comply with State Department procedures designed to ensure the security of non-department computer systems.

"OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server," the report found. "Secretary Clinton never demonstrated … that her private server or mobile device [State’s] minimum information security requirements."

Current State Department cyber-security officials expressed concerns to the IG about Clinton’s private email server, the report noted.

"Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business" the IG reported. "However, according to these officials, [they] did not—and would not—approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business, because of … the security risks in doing so."

Lachlan Markay   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Lachlan Markay is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He comes to the Beacon from the Heritage Foundation, where he was the conservative think tank's first investigative reporter. He graduated from Hamilton College in 2009, and currently lives in Washington, D.C. His Twitter handle is @lachlan. His email address is markay@freebeacon.com.