The New York Times reports on Monday that presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a personal email account for all of her email correspondence while serving four years as secretary of state. Clinton did not even have a government email address during her time at the helm of the State Department, raising questions about whether Clinton’s lack of a public account runs afoul of the Federal Records Act, which requires official correspondence be preserved.
Just months ago, Clinton advisors forked over 55,000 pages of emails from her private account to comply with the record-keeping requirements, but it was Clinton advisors who reviewed the emails and decided which ones to hand over to the State Department as part of the official record.
Here’s more from the Times:
Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach… Under federal law, however, letters and emails written and received by federal officials, such as the secretary of state, are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that congressional committees, historians and members of the news media can find them. There are exceptions to the law for certain classified and sensitive materials.
The Times points out Clinton is not the first government official to use a private email account, but the fact that it functioned as her sole means of emailing is unusual, raising concerns about transparency. Current Secretary of State John Kerry uses an official government account, but “before the current regulations went into effect, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who served from 2001 to 2005, used personal email to communicate with American officials and ambassadors and foreign leaders,” according to the Times. “The existence of Mrs. Clinton’s personal email account was discovered as a House committee investigating the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi sought correspondence between Mrs. Clinton and her aides about the attack.”