Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department routinely failed to preserve its own emails in order to intentionally hide them from official records.
Clinton-era email use at the State Department was fraught with widespread, intentional concealment, according to an October 2014-March 2015 semiannual report to Congress filed by the State Department’s office of inspector general (OIG).
Only a fraction of the messages sent by email were stored as “record emails,” according to the report.
“The review of the State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART) and Record Email found that, out of the more than 1 billion emails sent in 2011, employees created just over 61,000 official emails; and they created even fewer—41,000—in 2013,” the inspector general found. “OIG recommended that the Department establish policies governing usage and that system designers engage with focus groups to enhance the system’s efficiency.” (p. vii)
Clinton’s administration did nothing to teach people how to store emails and oversaw the widespread cover-up of emails that should have been kept.
“A 2009 upgrade in the Department’s system facilitated the preservation of emails as official records. However, Department employees had not received adequate training or guidance on their responsibilities for using those systems to preserve ‘record emails,'” according to the OIG report.
“Record email usage varied widely across bureaus and missions. The Bureau of Administration needed to exercise central oversight of the use of the record email function. OIG found that some employees did not create record emails because they did not want to make the email available in searches or feared that this availability would inhibit debate about pending decisions.”
Former Secretary Clinton has turned over thumb drives and a private email server containing her emails from her tenure at the State Department. An inter-agency government task force led by the Department of Justice and the FBI is currently investigating how classified information ended up on Clinton’s server, and whether foreign agents were able to obtain any of the information on Clinton’s server.