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Tipsheet

Reminder: Obama Administration Use of Private Email is a Long Held Habit

Yesterday we learned Secretary of Defense Ash Carter used a private email account to conduct official government business during the first few months of tenure at the Pentagon.

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Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter relied on a personal email account to conduct a portion of his government business during his first months at the Pentagon, according to White House and Defense Department officials and copies of Mr. Carter’s emails obtained by The New York Times.

Mr. Carter continued the practice, which violated Defense Department rules.

Not only is the use of private email against government policy, it allows politicians and appointed leaders to skirt Freedom of Information Act laws and puts sensitive information at greater risk for hacking or theft.

Naturally, Carter's use of personal email reminds most people of the scandal surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account and server to conduct all of her official government business. But as I've written before, the use of personal email by Obama administration officials isn't isolated to a few individuals working for the President. In fact, it's a habit that is ingrained in a culture of non-transparency. This practice has been employed at the EPA, IRS, Labor Department, Department of Justice and other government agencies to avoid congressional oversight. 

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A look at the history of Obama's "most transparent administration in history" reveals the use of private email accounts to evade federal records laws is and has been standard practice. The Obama administration is notorious for using personal e-mail accounts, and even fake alias accounts, to conduct official government business as a way to avoid Freedom of Information Act laws and congressional investigations.

 A culture of non-transparency and corruption doesn't stop with Hillary Clinton, but in fact can be found in nearly every major federal government agency the Obama administration has turned into a political tool to unilaterally change policy over the past six years.

In most cases, the use of private email by Obama administration officials is by design, not by accident.

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