Half of Americans Believe Clinton’s Private Email Use Was Illegal

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton / AP


Half of voters believe Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system during her time serving as secretary of state was illegal, according to a new Morning Consult poll released Wednesday.

Meanwhile, less than a quarter—22 percent—feel that Clinton’s former email practices were legal while another 27 percent are unsure whether the Democratic front-runner broke the law.

The findings arrived less than a week before the June 7 California primary election where Clinton’s previous stronghold has all but vanished. Her opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) closed in on the former first lady’s lead last month, leaving the race in a tossup between the Democratic presidential contenders.

Roughly half of the 2,001 voters surveyed by the Morning Consult responded that Clinton’s unsecured email system was unethical and pose a "major problem." Even a quarter in her own party think the practice could detriment her campaign.

Only a sliver—18 percent—said the private server doesn’t present issues, while 22 percent said Clinton’s email use was ethical.

The State Department inspector general released a report last week criticizing Clinton for violating agency guidelines and ignoring multiple federal safeguards intended to reduce security risks. Clinton also never received department permission to set up a private email during her tenure at the State Department, according to the report.

The findings contradict claims on Clinton’s campaign website stating that State Department policy during the time of her service permitted her to use a "non-government email for work."

Clinton has denied wrongdoing.

Sanders continues to distance himself from the scandal, drawing criticism from his supporters who argue the Vermont senator should mount an attack.

Republicans, meanwhile, have sharply criticized Clinton’s email use on the 2016 campaign trail. The Morning Consult poll found that 78 percent of those in the GOP feel the issue is a "major problem."

Clinton has been ramping up her campaign efforts in California to avoid an upset next week, though she is still projected to earn the majority of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination outright.

Natalie Johnson

Natalie Johnson   Email Natalie | Full Bio | RSS
Natalie Johnson is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, she was a news reporter at the Daily Signal. Johnson’s work has been featured in outlets such as Newsweek, Fox News and Drudge Report. She graduated from James Madison University in 2015 with a B.A. in political science and journalism. She can be reached at johnson@freebeacon.com. Her twitter handle is @nataliejohnsonn.

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