White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest refused to say Wednesday whether or not he or the president trusts Hillary Clinton's claims that she followed the law when choosing to use a personal email account to conduct official State Department business.
"I haven't seen any evidence to indicate that they didn't do what they said they did," Earnest said when asked if he had confidence in Clinton's claims that she and her employees have turned over all of her personal emails relating to official government business. "But I also just want to be crystal clear abut the fact that this is a responsibility that they assumed," Earnest continued, "to review her personal email and make sure that it was properly transmitted to the Department of State so that it could preserved and maintained."
The Obama White House has walked a fine political line on the issue since The New York Times first reveled Monday that Clinton did not use an official government email address, and instead used a personal email account to conduct all of her business as Secretary of State.
Federal law requires all federal officials to give their employing government agencies all personal emails relating to official government business. It is then the job of the federal agency to make sure those emails are preserved and maintained.
A follow up Associated Press story Wednesday reveled that Clinton not only used a private email, but that she and her employees created and maintained their own email server in Clinton's private residence in New York.
Clinton and her employees claim that they have reviewed all of the emails on Clinton's private server and have given the State Department all of the emails pertaining to official government business.
But since Clinton's email server is privately maintained, there is no independent party that can verify whether or not Clinton has turned over every email she used to conduct official State Department business. The American people just have to take Clinton's word for it.
Earnest has been careful to stress that while he can say that the State Department has properly preserved all the emails Clinton has provided them, he cannot confirm whether or not Clinton has provided all the relevant emails as required by law.
"I don't mean to suggest that I somehow think they are not being honest," Earnest said, "I'm just making it clear that it is not something that, that it was not a task that was preformed an Obama administration official. It was a task the was performed by Secretary Clinton or someone on her team."