July 9, 2015

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: Hillary Clinton Lied about State Department Emails

In a recent interview with CNN, Hillary Clinton stated that “everything I did was permitted” regarding her handling of her State Department emails. Washington Post Fact Checkers dug into this claim and here is what they found:

Regulations Were Put In Place While She Was Secretary of State

In 2009, just eight months after Clinton became secretary of state, the U.S. Code of federal regulations on handling electronic records was updated: “Agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency record-keeping system.”

Clinton’s system though did not allow for her emails to be easily preserved because “her practice made it difficult to locate records in response to specific requests, because Clinton’s e-mail would be in another official’s inbox — but would not exist in the federal system as part of Clinton’s outbox.”

She Even Told Her Staff To Not Use Private Emails

On top of that, when Clinton was secretary, a cable went out under her signature warning employees to “avoid conducting official Department business from your personal e-mail accounts.”

Clinton Ignored Directives from The Foreign Service Manual

The Foreign Affairs Manual made it clear that before a senior official (such as a Senate-confirmed presidential appointee) departs government service, he or she must prepare an inventory of personal papers that are proposed for removal. The manual states that “correspondence or e-mail received or sent in an employee’s capacity as a Department official is not personal.”

It is now apparent that Secretary Clinton blatantly disregarded these directives. Instead she chose to keep her emails for nearly two years before turning them over to the State Department.

Final Conclusion: Three Pinocchios

In reality, Clinton’s decision to use a private e-mail system for official business was highly unusual and flouted State Department procedures, even if not expressly prohibited by law at the time. Moreover, while she claims “everything I did was permitted,” she appears to have not complied with the requirement to turn over her business-related e-mails before she left government service. That’s a major misstep that she has not acknowledged.