Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Brianna Keilar that she had been fully compliant with all relevant laws and regulations regarding her email during her service in the Obama administration, despite using a private email address, maintaining a private server at her New York home, selecting which emails to turn over for archival purposes, and deleting the rest.
“Everything I did was permitted….I didn’t have to turn over anything,” Clinton said in her first national interview of the presidential campaign.
Critics have argued that Clinton’s failure to provide all of her email to the State Department was a violation of the Federal Records Act, and that regulations promulgated by the National Archives cover private emails as well. There is also the matter of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, which would not have targeted Clinton’s personal server, since it was unknown to the public. And as Shannen Coffin notes at the National Review, it is a felony under federal law to remove or destroy official government records.
In addition, State Department policy, which Clinton enforced while in office, discourages the use of personal email accounts for work purposes. Clinton and her defenders have said that she did not share classified or sensitive information on her personal email account, but subsequent revelations about the content of some emails–as well as belated efforts by the State Department to classify some emails–have cast doubt on that claim. Clinton also destroyed her emails despite being asked about them by Congress.
In recent days, contradictions between emails submitted to Congress by Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal and those submitted by Clinton via the State Department have suggested that she may have edited or obscured the contents of some of the email that she provided to the government. That could also violate a number of federal laws and regulations, as well as department policies.
At the very least, Clinton’s conduct demonstrates a contempt for the Obama administration’s own supposed commitment to transparency.