Do old phone models get turned in, replaced and ultimately destroyed? Yes. Does it make a bad situation surrounding Hillary Clinton's wiped out personal email server look worse? Absolutely.
According to a report published in The Hill late yesterday, BlackBerry devices belonging to Clinton's closest aides were likely destroyed.
State Department BlackBerry devices issued to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin have likely been destroyed or sold off, the department said in a court filing on Wednesday.
Mills and Abedin “were each issued BlackBerry devices,” department Executive Secretary Joseph Macmanus wrote in the filing.
The department, however, “has not located any such device,” and believes that they would have been destroyed or removed from the department's control.
“Because the devices issues to Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin would have been outdated models, in accordance with standard operating procedures those devices would have been destroyed or excessed,” Macmanus added.
State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed later on Wednesday afternoon that the two former officials’ devices were returned to the department after they left office.
“They belong to the United States government, and when you leave an agency you just turn it in,” Kirby said. “So yes, they were turned in. Where they are now I couldn’t begin to tell you.
“It’s also likely, because this was a while ago, that those devices may have been destroyed,” he added. “I don’t have the records of it because they were old and outmoded and often times we purchase new devices” in those circumstances.
And here's this little nugget:
In the same court filing, the State Department confirmed its previous claim that Clinton used a personal BlackBerry during her time in office that was not issued by the federal government.
You know what that means? That Clinton was using an unsecure device, which contained top secret classified information, with an unsecure personal email system and server.
Last week we learned the personal server Hillary Clinton was forced to turn over the the FBI was wiped clean of data beforehand. The good news is, the FBI can recover at least some of what was erased.
Meanwhile, Clinton Press Secretary Brian Fallon is trying to argue that any classified information the former Secretary of State was in possession of was given to her as a "passive recipient of unwitting information."
On conference call, @brianefallon says Clinton was "passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became classified."— Annie Karni (@anniekarni) August 19, 2015