Not so, says the State Department’s own watchdog.
A devastating new report by the State Department’s Inspector General obliterates Hillary’s core email defense and reveals a purposeful disregard of the rules.
The 83-page document is the result of an investigation of the State Department’s recordkeeping and cyber security practices covering multiple offices and administrations. (Multiple federal probes are still pending, including the ongoing FBI investigation.)
However, the report singles out Clinton for her unprecedented email arrangement, finding her in clear violation of federal records laws and State Department rules.
The IG report also offers details and findings that directly contradict Clinton’s explanations of her actions, confirming that she hasn’t been telling the truth since day one.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Federal Law and State Department Rules DID NOT Permit Her Email Arrangement
Hillary Clinton has consistently relied on the defense that the rules permitted her email practices.
But, this report concludes that Hillary Clinton violated federal law and State Department rules and rebuts many of Clinton’s core arguments in defense of her reckless actions.
Clinton has maintained that she fulfilled her obligations to preserve federal records by turning emails over (after the State Department noted they did not have them) years after she left office. She also claims that most of her emails were automatically preserved while she was at State because she emailed government officials on their official accounts.
The audit rebukes that argument, finding that these steps were “not an appropriate method” of preserving emails as federal records. It also reprimands Clinton for failing to turn over her emails immediately after leaving office, as State Department rules require.
She Never Sought Approval Or Took Official Steps to Secure Her Secret Server
Clinton also broke the rules by using an unauthorized email system that was not authorized by legal or information security officials at the State Department.
Clinton has previously stated that no one needed to sign off on her private server because “it was allowed under the rules.” That is a tricky claim, given that the rules require she utilize an authorized system. The State Department IG states that she had an “obligation” to discuss her email practices and seek out an approved and secure system.
It continues saying that they would not have approved her exclusive use of private email, citing “security risks.”
Her Setup Was A Security Risk
As previously noted, the State Department recognizes non-official email systems as a “security risk.” Even more, Clinton’s off-the-grid system, which was not reviewed or authorized by legal or information security officials, could pose extra risks as she did not seek out agency experts to mitigate them.
The report also cites several instances where hackers attempted to breach her system as well as multiple occasions where she was warned about the vulnerability of private email to cybersecurity threats.
For example, a March 2011 memo from the Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security warned Clinton about increased cybersecurity threats to personal email systems:
The report even cites an occasion where Clinton discusses her suspicion that someone is “hacking into her email” after receiving a suspicious link. There was no indication that Clinton or her aides notified any security personnel to this incident.
Her Motivation Was Secrecy, Not Convenience
Clinton had several opportunities to use a more secure and official method of communication. Instead she chose to ignore warning after warning that her private email system was vulnerable to security risks.
Contrary to her story that her motivation was simply “convenience,” a telling email exchange with top aide Huma Abedin shows she was more concerned about maintaining secrecy.
When Abedin suggest putting Clinton to an official State Department email address, Clinton pushes back: “I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”
This is a stunning revelation that shows Clinton was more worried about political risks than she was about the security risks of her email arrangement.
There Are More Emails Than What Clinton Turned Over
The inspector general report makes note of gaps in Clinton’s email record, with no emails handed over from her first 3 months in office.
The report also references several work-related emails discussing the setup of her private server that were never turned over or released to the public.
One of those emails is the incredible exchange with her top aide where she rules out a State Department email address for the sake of secrecy.
She and Her Staff Refused to Cooperate with the Investigation
Clinton has said previously that she would be happy to talk to “anybody, anytime” about her email arrangement and that she was “trying to be as transparent as [she] possibly can.”
The report notes, however, that Clinton and her top aides refused requests to answer questions.
The facts and details laid out in the report not only dismantle Clinton’s claims, they show someone who went out of her way to shun the rules, maintain secrecy, and put her needs above national security.
Others have lost their jobs, security clearances, and even gone to jail for doing what Clinton did.
While Clinton and her campaign continue to cling to their original story and try to spin away the truth, the facts are indisputable.
The only thing people should be asking is can we trust someone with as much poor judgment and reckless disregard for the law as Hillary Clinton in the White House?
Government Accountability Transparency