In a surprising reversal, what many thought was impossible, namely the State Department cracking down on its former head and Democratic presidential frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, seems all too possible following news that the State Department Inspector General audit has faulted Hillary Clinton, other secretaries of state for poorly managing electronic communications.
- CLINTON’S FAILURE TO SURRENDER ALL EMAILS DEALING WITH DEPARTMENT BUSINESS BEFORE LEAVING GOVERNMENT VIOLATED POLICY -INSPECTOR GENERAL
As WaPo summarizes, the IG found that Clinton’s use of private email for public business was “not an appropriate method” of preserving documents and that her practices failed to comply with department policies meant to ensure that federal record laws are followed.
The report says Clinton should have printed and saved her emails during her four years in office or surrendered her work-related correspondence immediately upon stepping down in February 2013. Instead, Clinton provided those records in December 2014, nearly two years after leaving office.
The report found that a top Clinton aide was warned in 2010 that the system may not properly preserve records but dismissed those worries, indicating that the system passed legal muster. But the inspector general said it could not show evidence of a review by legal counsel.
As Politico adds, the State Department inspector general concluded that Hillary Clinton did not comply with the agency’s policies on records, according to a report released to lawmakers on Wednesday that also revealed that Clinton and her top aides chose not to cooperate with the review.
The agency on Wednesday released the long-awaited report to Capitol Hill, copy of which was obtained by POLITICO, providing just the latest turn in the headache-inducing saga that has dogged Clinton’s campaign.
While the report concludes that the agency suffers from “longstanding, systemic weaknesses” with records that “go well beyond the tenure of any one Secretary of State,” it specifically dings Clinton for her exclusive use of private email.
“Therefore, Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” the report states. “At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”
The report states that its findings are based on interviews with current Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessors – Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, but that Clinton and her deputies declined the IG’s requests for interviews.
Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin are among those who did not cooperate with the investigation.
The IG report is just one of many fronts that still exist in the email scandal. Clinton also faces an ongoing FBI investigation into the setup of the private server that she used for official State Department business during her four years in the Obama administration, and various Freedom of Information Act lawsuits are working their way through the courts.
Needless to say, the report will only provide more ammunition for Donald Trump, who has already been seizing on the persistent controversy, which first emerged in March of last year, as he tries to further undermine the trustworthiness of “Crooked Hillary,” as he calls her.
Clinton and her allies contend she did nothing illegal by choosing to set up a private email server and account at her Chappaqua, New York, home, and that she was not trying to evade public records requests. Instead, Clinton has said she was motivated by the desire for convenience, though she has conceded it was not the best choice.
One again wonders if there is a quiet press behind the scenes to push for Bernie Sanders, or even Joe Biden at the Democrat convention if enough dirty laundry piles up against Hillary, who it is no secret has had a rocky relationship with many of the current Democrat power elite.
A quick observation from Glenn Greenwald finds a quick lie within the state department:
Wow: 2 State staffers raised concerns re HRC's server: were told never to do so again b/c it was approved: false pic.twitter.com/IiPH7wie6k
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 25, 2016
Full OIG report below (link)
The full report is above.