The New York Times first reported in March 2015 that Hillary Clinton had used a personal email account to conduct government business while serving as Secretary of State. In total, there were 62,320 emails routed to a private server located in the basement of Clinton’s resident in Chappaqua, New York.
Clinton decided which emails to turn over
The Times reported that Mrs. Clinton’s staff had reviewed “tens of thousands of pages of personal emails” and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department to comply with the Federal Records Act. Thus began the tortured tale of Hillary Clinton’s email troubles, which culminated last Friday when the FBI announced, just eleven days before the election that it was reopening its investigation into Mrs. Clinton emails.
Clinton’s lawyers turned over to the State Department 30,000 emails in December 2014. Those emails contained the following:
· 8 chains included “top secret” information · 36 chains included “secret” information · 8 chains included “confidential” information, the lowest level of classification · 2,000 emails have since been classified “confidential”
— The New York Times
33,000 emails deleted
The story also reported that an additional 33,000 emails had been deleted by Clinton’s staff, who determined they pertained to “personal items.” A year later, the FBI was able to recover more than 14,900 of the deleted emails. The FBI turned the recovered emails over to the State Department, who decided that roughly 9,000 of the emails were personal and will not be released. However, 5,600 of the emails were considered work related and will be released after they have been reviewed to ensure they don’t contain confidential information. To date, only 75 of the 5,600 remaining emails have been released and the process will not be completed until well after the election.
No criminal intent
In July 2016, the FBI issued a report that cleared Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing and concluded its investigation.
I think she was extremely careless. I think she was negligent. That I could establish. What we can't establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent. — James Comey, Director of the FBI
Hillary Clinton took responsibility for her use of a personal email system and issued an apology. Secretary Clinton maintained that she was only following the precedent set by her predecessors, although the scope of her use of a private email system far exceeded what other Secretaries of State have done.
As I look back at it now, even though it was allowed, I should have used two accounts. That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility. — Hillary Clinton
WikiLeaks also releasing emails
Emails from Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State are not the only emails that have bedeviled the Clinton campaign over the past year. Hacked emails from various accounts have popped up from time to time on the internet. The U.S. government has concluded that ‘state actors,’ which is assumed to be Russia, have been behind many of the hacked emails.
The most damaging of the hacked emails has been the daily drip from WikiLeaks of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta's emails. To date, more than 36,000 Podesta emails have been released, and additional emails are expected to be released in the weeks ahead.
FBI reopens investigation
Last Friday, just eleven days before the election, FBI Director James Comey shocked the political world by announcing that the FBI was reopening its investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
During an investigation into sexting allegations against former Congressman Anthony Weiner, the FBI discovered emails on a laptop that Mr. Weiner shared with his wife Huma Abedin, who is a close aide to Mrs. Clinton. The FBI has not released any information related to the emails found on Mr. Weiner’s computer, nor offered an explanation as to why Abedin was sending copies of State Department emails to her Yahoo email account.
What is clear is that there will be additional chapters added to the ongoing story of Hillary Clinton’s troubles with her use of a private email account.