Politics

Hillary Clinton's Personal Email Account As Secretary Of State May Have Broken The Rules

| by Lisa Fogarty

Hillary Clinton may have broken rules by exclusively using a personal email account for business purposes while serving as secretary of state. If proven to be true, her actions may have violated federal requirements that elected officials' correspondences be saved as part of the agency's record.

"It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business," Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration, told The New York Times

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Clinton's spokeman, Nick Merrill, claims she was complying with the rules, despite federal law requiring that all letters and emails written by federal officials be preserved as government records. Exceptions are reportedly made for classified information, though it isn't clear whether all of Clinton's exchanges would qualify as such.

Although Clinton isn't the first official to use her personal email account, sources say it is highly unusual for a politician to send correspondences solely through their personal accounts.

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These findings came to light in March 2013, after a hacker named "Guccifer" broke into the email account of Clinton's former aide, Sidney Blumenthal, and revealed he was corresponding with the secretary of state under an account that belonged to the "clintonemail.com" domain, reports the Washington Post. It was then revealed that the domain was reportedly created on January 13, 2009, which was one week before President Obama was sworn in and Clinton's Senate confirmation hearings began.

RT reportedly published some of the emails that Blumenthal sent to Clinton, including 2012-2013 confidential memos regarding the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi and the Algerian hostage crisis. 

Blumenthal's son reportedly told RT he would not comment on the leak.

Sources: The New York Times, Washington Post, RT

Photo Credit: wfowlkes/Flickr, imgkid.com