FBI Looking Into the Security of Hillary Clinton’s Private E-Mail SetupPosted: August 4, 2015
The inquiries by the FBI follow concerns from government officials that potentially hundreds of e-mails that passed through Clinton’s private server contained classified or sensitive information.
Carol D. Leonnig, Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger report: The FBI has begun looking into the security of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail setup, contacting in the past week a Denver-based technology firm that helped manage the unusual system, according to twogovernment officials.
“The inquiries are bringing to light new information about Clinton’s use of the system and the lengths to which she went to install a private channel of communication outside government control — a setup that has emerged as a major issue in her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.”
Also last week, the FBI contacted Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, with questions about the security of a thumb drive in his possession that contains copies of work e-mails Clinton sent during her time as secretary of state.
The FBI’s interest in Clinton’s e-mail system comes after the intelligence community’s inspector general referred the issue to the Justice Department in July. Intelligence officials expressed concern that some sensitive information was not in the government’s possession and could be “compromised.” The referral did not accuse Clinton of any wrongdoing, and the two officials said Tuesday that the FBI is not targeting her.
Kendall confirmed the contact, saying: “The government is seeking assurance about the storage of those materials. We are actively cooperating.”
A lawyer for the Denver company, Platte River Networks, declined to comment, as did multiple Justice Department officials.
The inquiries are bringing to light new information about Clinton’s use of the system and the lengths to which she went to install a private channel of communication outside government control — a setup that has emerged as a major issue in her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
For instance, the server installed in her Chappaqua, N.Y., home as she was preparing to take office as secretary of state was originally used by her first campaign for the presidency, in 2008, according to two people briefed on the setup. A staffer who was on the payroll of her political action committee set it up in her home, replacing a server that Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, had been using in the house.
The inquiries by the FBI follow concerns from government officials that potentially hundreds of e-mails that passed through Clinton’s private server contained classified or sensitive information. At this point, the probe is preliminary and is focused on ensuring the proper handling of classified material.
Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton’s campaign, declined to comment on the FBI’s actions. He noted that Clinton has called repeatedly for the State Department to release her e-mails to the public, a process that is ongoing.
In a statement, Merrill said that Clinton “did not send nor receive any emails that were marked classified at the time. We want to ensure that appropriate procedures are followed as these emails are reviewed while not unduly delaying the release of her emails. We want that to happen as quickly and as transparently as possible.”
The controversy over Clinton’s e-mail dates to the summer of 2014, when, according to government officials, State Department lawyers realized they didn’t have access to some of her records as they prepared responses to congressional requests related to the 2012 attacks on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
In October 2014, the State Department asked four former secretaries to turn over e-mails in their private possession. In December, Clinton handed over 55,000 pages of e-mails, which she said represented all of her work-related correspondence. She has said she deleted all other e-mails she had sent or received as secretary of state…(read more)
Adam Goldman, Karen Tumulty and Alice Crites contributed to this report.
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