Hillary Clinton’s aides at the State Department wanted to set up a “stand-alone” computer operating on a network separate from that of the agency so that she could check email from her office.
According to a chain of emails obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, Clinton also did not know how to use a computer to check her email when she first took office as the secretary of state.
The emails, which were sent and received in January 2009 at the start of Clinton’s tenure at State, show officials discussing the idea of setting up a “stand-alone PC” connected to a non-State Department computer network.
“I think we should go ahead (but will await your green light) and set up a stand-alone PC in the Secretary’s office, connect to the internet (but not through our system) to enable her to check her emails from her desk,” State Department official Lewis Lukens wrote to aides Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and Patrick Kennedy on January 24.
Kennedy responded by saying that the “stand-alone separate network PC is [a] great idea.”
“Yes we were hoping for that if possible so she can check her email in her office,” Abedin, who currently serves as vice chairwoman of Clinton’s presidential campaign, replied.
Lewis then wrote that Clinton’s inability to use a computer to check email, according to Mills, presented a problem for such a computer setup.
“I talked to Cheryl about this. She says a problem is hrc does not know how to use a computer to do email–only bb [Blackberry],” Lewis wrote the group. “But, I said would not take much training to get her up to speed.”
The latest revelations come as Clinton continues to weather scrutiny for her use of a private, unsecured email server based out of her Chappaqua, New York, home to conduct State Department business. Clinton has been heavily criticized for using a personal email system to do sensitive government business, though she has denied that she ever sent or received classified information on her private email address.
Last week, the State Department announced that 22 Clinton emails have been found to contain top secret information. The Obama administration blocked the release of these messages because of their sensitive nature.
The email issue has created hurdles for Clinton as she pursues the Democratic nomination for president. Clinton and her competitors, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) chief among them, will face off in the Iowa caucus Monday night.