Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Address For State Department Job, Breaking Rules

While this is a big story, as broken by the New York Times, appearing in the Washington Post, Fox News, others, and a big pull at Memeorandum, how many are surprised in the least by this news, and are thinking about it in the same internal voice that says “plain cereal for breakfast? OK”?

Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

Read that again: “did not have a government email address during her 4 year stint at State”. I bet anyone who joined a company that uses email had their own address within a week, and was expressly told to not use any personal email for official company business.

I’d love to know what the address ending was. The Washington Post article seems to believe it was “clintonemail.com”. How much fun would it be if she was using an AOL or hotmail account?

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

“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,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

Actually, in the age of Obama, where multiple appointed department heads and other employees used personal email accounts to conduct official business, it’s easy to conceive of the scenario. One which would get a private sector company in Very Big Trouble under Sarbanes Oxley and other federal law.

A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Nick Merrill, defended her use of the personal email account and said she has been complying with the “letter and spirit of the rules.”

Under federal law, however, letters and emails written and received by federal officials, such as the secretary of state, are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that congressional committees, historians and members of the news media can find them. There are exceptions to the law for certain classified and sensitive materials.

Even though it was a “severe ethical breach”, and possibly a breach of government rules regarding record keeping, I can’t really get worked up over this, because it is entirely expected within The Most Transparent Administration Eveh!

However, since the emails were not automatically archived, the emails were taken manually, and, in regards to the Benghazi period, how many were actually turned over to the House committee that is still trying to get to the root of what happened?

The revelation about the private email account echoes longstanding criticisms directed at both the former secretary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, for a lack of transparency and inclination toward secrecy.

It is interesting that Mr. Obama is not mentioned, considering his lack of transparency and inclination towards secrecy.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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