White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett admitted Wednesday that the White House had issued guidance to cabinet secretaries recommending they use government email for official business—guidance that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ultimately ignored.
"Weren’t there guidelines from the White House to all cabinet secretaries to use government email?" MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell asked Jarrett at an event sponsored by the Aspen Institute.
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"Well, yes there were. Yeah, absolutely," Jarrett said.
"Obviously, we want to make sure we preserve all government records, so there was guidance given that government business should be done on government emails and that if you did use a private email it should be turned over," Jarrett said.
Jarrett then offered a partial defense of Clinton’s behavior.
"She’s working hard to comply with making sure everything is pursuant to the Federal Records Act," Jarrett said.
Clinton did not turn over emails from her private account until December 2014, two years after her tenure as secretary of state concluded and two months after the State Department sent her a letter asking for her emails.
When Clinton did turn over her emails, she did so at the request of the State Department, not on her own initiative—and only after permanently (or rather, "permanently") deleting tens of thousands of emails from the private server.
The State Department received 55,000 pages of emails from Clinton. The emails were printed hard copies that were not digitally searchable, a lawyerly move many think was an attempt to stymie investigators and Freedom of Information Act requests.