Hillary Clinton’s private emails could be a criminal offense, federal inspectors say

Hillary Clinton’s private emails could be a criminal offense, federal inspectors say

Inspectors general say personal account contained ‘hundreds of potentially classified emails,’ request criminal investigation

By Amar Toor on July 24, 2015 04:11 am Email @amartoo

Federal officials have asked the US Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton misused sensitive information on the private email account she used during her tenure as secretary of state, The New York Times reports. The request was filed by two inspectors general, though the Justice Department has not decided whether it will launch an investigation.

The request comes amid an ongoing State Department review of Clinton’s private email account, which she used for government business during her four years as secretary of state under the Obama administration. Clinton has said that she used the account (and the private server that hosted it) as “a matter of convenience,” though it also exempted her from some federal transparency obligations. Revelations about the account have raised concerns over the transparency and security of Clinton’s correspondence, sparking controversy as her 2016 presidential campaign kicks into gear.


Clinton has maintained that the account contained no classified information, though in a June 29th memo obtained by the Times, inspectors general for the State Department and intelligence agencies said the account included “hundreds of potentially classified emails.” The State Department is currently reviewing 55,000 pages of Clinton’s emails, after having released the first 3,000 pages to the public on June 30th. It’s yet not clear whether any of the sensitive information was classified at the time, though officials have determined that some of the emails should be retroactively classified. In a June 17th memo, also obtained by the Times, the inspectors general wrote that at least one of the emails made public contained classified information.

The memo also criticizes the State Department for the way it handled sensitive information on Clinton’s account, noting that it did not consult with intelligence agencies to determine which emails should be classified. A federal judge this week raised concerns over the State Department’s failure to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests from the Associated Press, saying that it “has been, to say the least, recalcitrant in responding.”

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