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Hillary Clinton used private email as secretary of state, may have broken protocol

Hillary Clinton may have broken federal requirements by not using government email.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Posted on Mar 2, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 10:02 am CDT

Hillary Clinton used a personal email address while she was secretary of state, the State Department told the New York Times, possibly breaking federal requirements that require use of an official email address in order to keep records.

Government email has been a hot topic of late. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week raised the ire of transparency advocates when he instituted a policy of automatically deleting government emails after 90 days.

Federal requirements state that government emails must be kept for a minimum of seven years. Clinton, however, reportedly never even used a government email address.

Her exclusive use of a personal email address was called a serious breach by National Archives and Records Administration officials, the Times reports.

The use of official government email addresses is mandated for several reasons, most notably security and transparency. The business of government is done by email now more than ever, making it increasingly important legally and politically that the messages be preserved and available in case of a Freedom of Information Act request, for instance.

Clinton’s exclusive use of personal emails was discovered during a Congressional investigation into the attack in Benghazi in 2012.

The security of Clinton’s email practices are also being questioned. While she served as one of the nation’s top diplomats, she did not use the secure email services used by the likes of President Obama and the current Secretary of State John Kerry.

H/T New York Times | Photo via U.S. State Dept.

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*First Published: Mar 2, 2015, 11:59 pm CST