During the White House Press Briefing today, CNN’s White House Correspondent Jim Acosta asked Press Secretary Josh Earnest if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was correct when she asserted that she wasn’t breaking the law by using a private e-mail server for government business.
“Everything I did was permitted,” Clinton insisted during an interview with CNN last night. “There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate. Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing.”
“Is that true?” asked Acosta. “Is that a true statement?”
“I don’t have any reason to contradict what Secretary Clinton has said,” Earnest replied, before relying on his usual set of talking points on the e-mail controversy.
Earnest called Clinton’s request to the State Department to make the emails she turned over to the agency public an “extraordinary step” in transparency.
When asked if the White House had learned any lessons from the fiasco, Earnest replied, “None that I can think of.”
He added that all White House administration officials should use their official government accounts to conduct business, and transfer any business emails conducted on their personal account to the archive to be collected.
But according to Daniel Metcalfe, the former director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy, Clinton was breaking the law.
“Using a personal email account exclusively is a potent prescription for flouting the Federal Records Act and circumventing the Freedom of Information Act,” Metcalfe said in an interview with Politifact. “And there can be little doubt that Clinton knew this full well.”