Uh Oh: Hillary’s Emails To State Department Employees Weren’t ‘Immediately’ Preserved

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Mar 14, 2015 3:00 PM
Uh Oh: Hillary’s Emails To State Department Employees Weren’t ‘Immediately’ Preserved

Hillary Clinton’s narrative about her emails, which she explained in detail (sort of), seems to be falling apart. First, no one is truly accepting Clinton’s reason for using her personal email, which she said was done out of convenience. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell said that "convenience is not a choice you have in government." This all comes down to the fact that Clinton didn’t want to use two devices–even though she admitted that she’s capable of using multiple devices–which Gawker’s John Cook slammed as “preposterous.” Additionally, Clinton said no work-related emails were deleted. Clinton did delete some 31,000 emails she deemed personal and private, but we’ll never know which emails were truly work-related or not because the review of the emails in question did not involve reading any of them.

Now, the claim she made about every email she sent to State Department employees being preserved “immediately” during her tenure as Secretary of State has been challenged … by the State Department (via Fox News):

A State Department spokeswoman said Friday that the department did not start automatically archiving emails from senior officials until February of this year -- raising questions about Hillary Clinton's claim that her emails were "immediately" saved whenever she corresponded with colleagues.

The former secretary of state made that assertion during her press conference earlier this week -- and in a lengthy statement put out by her office -- as she defended her exclusive use of personal email. Clinton downplayed concerns that official emails could have been lost by suggesting anytime she emailed anyone with a ".gov" address, that email would be stored for posterity.

"The vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department," she said Tuesday.

But department spokeswoman Jen Psaki made clear on Friday that this was not the way the system worked.

She said the department only started automatically archiving emails for other senior officials in February.

The State Department’s Inspector General issued a report earlier this week noting that the department isn’t properly preserving emails per government regulations. Wait, Politico has more [emphasis mine]:

After a week of deflecting questions about how emails were handled during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, the agency finally acknowledged that the email traffic of other senior officials was not automatically or routinely archived.

Have no fear; the email preservation operation at the State Department will be completed … at the end of 2016:

[State Department Spokesperson Jen] Psaki said automatic archiving began just last month for “dozens” of top officials — such as the deputy secretary, under secretaries and assistant secretaries. “Our goal is to apply this to all employee mailboxes by the end of 2016,” she said.

This is a trainwreck. The prohibitive Democratic nominee for president in 2016 held a press conference to address a controversy that will hinder her impending campaign for months, and her claims have completely collapsed in less than 48 hours.

More from Allahpundit:

So State, which has formally instructed employees for 10 years to use official work accounts for official department business, didn’t bother to automatically archive correspondence in those accounts — at least among top department officials — until a month ago. And Hillary Clinton, who claimed it’s no big deal that she uses a private account since her messages supposedly would have been caught and archived in her deputies’ State accounts, may well have known that. Which would mean she lied, egregiously. Again.

Am I right in understanding this to mean that State has nothing of Hillary’s, up to and including messages she sent to official State accounts, apart from what she herself has turned over? It’s all lost except what Her Majesty has designated as fit for public review? Or were some/most/all of the people she was e-mailing at State diligent about archiving their e-mails manually, despite the lack of automatic archiving? How much does State have, exactly?

I guess a silver lining here is for the Associated Press, who filed a lawsuit with the State Department to release all emails and documents during Clinton’s time as Secretary of State; they just didn’t have any of them.