State Dept. inspector general report sharply criticizes Clinton’s email practices
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger May 25 at 10:18 AM
The State Department’s independent watchdog has issued a highly critical analysis of Hillary Clinton’s email practices while running the department, concluding that she failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private email server and that department staff would not have given its blessing because of the “security risks in doing so.”
The inspector general, in a long awaited review obtained Wednesday by The Washington Post in advance of its publication, 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 federal record laws are followed.
The report says she 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 had passed legal muster. But the inspector general said it could not show evidence of a review by legal counsel.
IANAL and someone can doublecheck but when I looked recently my conclusion was that these [the record-keeping stuff, not the handling classified info stuff] are administrative, not criminal violations. Utter disdain for the FOIA, for example, earns a dressing-down from one's supervisor or a federal judge, not fines or imprisonment. Back to the WaPo:
The new report focuses on record keeping and how Clinton and previous secretaries of state have maintained documents regarding public business. She has said she complied with laws requiring the preservation of documents, including emails, because she emailed other government officials at their official accounts, knowing their emails would be retained on public servers.
However, she has not explained how she intended emails sent to private citizens, who did not use government email, to be preserved. Some emails have emerged, particularly from Clinton’s first months in office in 2009 when her aides have said she was transitioning technology, that she did not provide to the State Department.
ERRATA: This is from the FOIA, section 4:
(F) Whenever the court orders the production of any agency records improperly withheld from the complainant and assesses against the United States reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs, and the court additionally issues a written finding that the circumstances surrounding the withholding raise questions whether agency personnel acted arbitrarily or capriciously with respect to the withholding, the Special Counsel shall promptly initiate a proceeding to determine whether disciplinary action is warranted against the officer or employee who was primarily responsible for the withholding. The Special Counsel, after investigation and consideration of the evidence submitted, shall submit his findings and recommendations to the administrative authority of the agency concerned and shall send copies of the findings and recommendations to the officer or employee or his representative. The administrative authority shall take the corrective action that the Special Counsel recommends.
(G) In the event of noncompliance with the order of the court, the district court may punish for contempt the responsible employee, and in the case of a uniformed service, the responsible member.
I guess a contempt of court finding could result in jail time but it is still not a felony, as best I know. Still, what a weird Hillary defense - she broke the law but the penalties are minor, so what's the big deal? Uhh, she broke the law? And now wants to be Chief Executive?
TO BE CLEAR: I am focusing on the record-keeping violations, not the potential mishandling of classified information.