Oh Geez: Hillary Was Asked About Private Email Account In 2012

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Apr 15, 2015 12:15 PM
Oh Geez: Hillary Was Asked About Private Email Account In 2012

Hillary Clinton can’t seem to escape her email troubles. After admitting to a private email account, deleting over 30,000 emails she deemed personal, and refusing to turn over the server to an independent third party for review, partially because it had been wiped clean; we find out that she was asked about her personal email address in December of 2012. Around that same time, it was discovered former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson had a second email account under the pseudonym “Richard Windsor.”  The LA Times reported on Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), then-Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and his investigation into Obama administration officials using personal email to communicate with staff and other government officials. It was alleged that they did this to circumvent FOIA statutes. 

Rep. Issa's letter to Clinton asked if the former secretary of state had used a private email address. The State Department never responded until Clinton had left her cabinet position, only giving the committee the department protocols for using email (via NYT) [emphasis mine]:

Hillary Rodham Clinton was directly asked by congressional investigators in a December 2012 letter whether she had used a private email account while serving as secretary of state, according to letters obtained by The New York Times.

But Mrs. Clinton did not reply to the letter. And when the State Department answered in March 2013, nearly two months after she left office, it ignored the question and provided no response.

The query was posed to Mrs. Clinton in a Dec. 13, 2012, letter from Representative Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Mr. Issa was leading an investigation into how the Obama administration handled its officials’ use of personal email.

“Have you or any senior agency official ever used a personal email account to conduct official business?” Mr. Issa wrote to Mrs. Clinton. “If so, please identify the account used.”

Mr. Issa also asked Mrs. Clinton, “Does the agency require employees to certify on a periodic basis or at the end of their employment with the agency they have turned over any communications involving official business that they have sent or received using nonofficial accounts?”

Mr. Issa’s letter also sought written documentation of the department’s policies for the use of personal email for government business. Mrs. Clinton left the State Department on Feb. 1, 2013, seven weeks after the letter was sent to her.

When Mr. Issa received a response from the State Department on March 27, all he got was a description of the department’s email policies. According to the letter, any employee using a personal account “should make it clear that his or her personal email is not being used for official business.”

Well, it’s no wonder why a majority of voters in swing states don’t think she’s honest. Additionally, it reinforces the notion that State is still highly protective of the former first lady; Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin noted that many reporters strongly believe this. Also, is this another example of the Clintons playing by their own rules? If this happened, how can State just ignore a letter sent by the House Oversight Committee chairman? Nevertheless, we probably would have discovered Hillary’s private email address sooner if the department had an Inspector General. The official position was vacant for the entirety of Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state. Again, this development speaks to the 2016 prohibitive Democratic nominee’s honesty and integrity. Even the most die-hard Clintonites have to be saying to themselves that the optics–and this whole situation in general–didn’t look good before–and it’s now worse.