U.S. lawmakers asked Clinton about private emails in 2012

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 15, 2015 12:14 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers asked Hillary Clinton in 2012 if she used a personal email account for government business while secretary of state, but never received an answer, according to letters released on Wednesday.

"Have you or any senior agency official ever used a personal email account to conduct official business?" U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee at the time, wrote in a Dec. 13, 2012, letter.

"If so, please identify the account used," Issa wrote. The letter, released by his office, was initially reported by the New York Times.

The State Department's response on March 27, 2013, shortly after Clinton left the agency, did not address the first question, according to a copy provided by Issa's office.

State spokesman Jeff Rathke said on Wednesday that the department had described its policies "in detail" in its response to the committee.

The letter quoted from the Foreign Affairs Manual that any employee using personal email "should make it clear that his or her personal email is not being used for official business."

Clinton has been criticized for using personal email for government business when she led the department from 2009 to 2013, a controversy that flared in the weeks leading to her announcement on Sunday that she would run for president in 2016.

In his letter, Issa also sought documentation of State Department policies on the use of unofficial email accounts to conduct government business, including archiving and recordkeeping procedures.

Secretary of State John Kerry last month asked the department's inspector general for an overall review of efforts to improve records management, including email archiving and responding to Freedom of Information Act and congressional inquiries.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Emily Stephenson; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Lisa Von Ahn)