November 9, 2015

Fact Checker: Clinton’s State Department Email Claim Is Not Accurate

During last month’s Benghazi Committee hearing, Hillary Clinton repeatedly claimed that 90 to 95 percent of her emails were automatically captured in the State Department’s email system. Given the frequency in which Clinton cited this claim, committee Chairman Trey Gowdy pressed Clinton on this issue:

GOWDY: “I have not heard anyone other than you ever cite that figure. Who told you that 90 to 95 percent of your e-mails were in the State Department system? Who told you that?”

CLINTON: “We learned that from the State Department and their analysis of the e-mails that were already on the system. We were trying to help them close some gaps that they had.”

It turns out that claim is simply not true. The Washington Post Fact Checker took a look at Clinton’s claim and found that it is a creation of the Clinton campaign—not the State Department. That’s something reiterated by State Department spokesman John Kirby:

Instance 1: State Dept.: No Information About Clinton Email Claim, Refers To Clinton Campaign

Instance 2: State Dept. Won’t Confirm If Hillary Clinton’s Email Claim Is True

The Washington Post rated this claim “three Pinocchios” and gave this conclusion:

Clinton clearly erred in saying that the “90 to 95 percent” figure was from the State Department. This is her own staff’s calculation, and she should correct the record.

While not all of the e-mails she submitted to the State Department have been released, what has been made available so far suggests that a substantial majority are to and from at least one “state.gov” e-mail address. It is not an unreasonable assumption that these e-mails are contained somewhere within the bowels of the State Department. But Clinton cannot make a definitive statement and certainly cannot attribute that to the State Department.