The State Department’s independent watchdog said in a report on Wednesday that Hillary Clinton did not comply with the rules of work-related private email use or seek approval to maintain a private server while she was secretary of state, CNN reports.
According to the network, Mrs. Clinton has said she obtained permission to use personal email. But the Inspector General’s investigation “found no evidence that the secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server.”
This report comes in the final stages of Clinton’s presidential primary run against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, while the presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump fires off sharp criticism about her honesty.
Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon issued this statement:
“While political opponents of Hillary Clinton are sure to misrepresent this report for their own partisan purposes, in reality, the Inspector General documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email.”
Indeed, the Inspector General’s office interviewed former Secretaries of State Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice. The report said Clinton’s predecessors used private email for work, but the rules for preserving those emails changed in 2009 when Clinton became secretary of state.
Clinton, the report noted, declined an interview. Fallon told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Mrs. Clinton turned down the Inspector General’s interview request because she gave priority to an ongoing Justice Department probe.
“We never could quite make sense of why this review by the State Department IG was proceeding on its own timeline in a parallel fashion to the Justice Department review,” Fallon told CNN.
Fallon said the Inspector General’s office may have an “anti-Clinton bias.”
State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Wednesday that the department neither encouraged nor prohibited work-related personal email use.
“The only requirement is that—and the regulations do state this, that these records need to be preserved,” he said, according to CNN.
According to the report, the problem is that Clinton should have at least “surrendered all emails dealing with department business before leaving government service.” Her failure to do that constitutes a violation of the Federal Records Act.
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform