Clinton email server broke government rules, watchdog finds

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Hillary Clinton broke government rules by using a private email server without approval while U.S. secretary of state, an internal government watchdog said Wednesday.The long-awaited report by the State Department inspector ...

Hillary Clinton arrives Wednesday to speak at the UFCW Union Local 324 in Buena Park, Calif. Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton broke government rules by using a private email server without approval while U.S. secretary of state, an internal government watchdog said Wednesday.
The long-awaited report by the State Department inspector general was the first official audit of the controversial arrangement to be made public so far, and was also critical of department record-keeping practices before Clinton’s tenure.
It concluded that Clinton, now the front-runner in the race to become the Democratic presidential nominee, would not have been allowed to use the server in her home had she asked the department officials in charge of information security.
The report undermined Clinton’s defense of her private server. She said it was allowed and that no permission was needed, although she has since apologized for the arrangement.
The report’s highly critical findings included an account of State Department technology staff trying to internally raise concerns about the arrangement in 2010 only to be told to keep quiet by an official in Clinton’s office.
It immediately fueled Republican criticism of Clinton in an already acrimonious race. The report will also add to Democratic anxieties about voter perceptions of Clinton as untrustworthy and secretive.
Several other inquiries are continuing, including a U.S. Justice Department investigation into whether the arrangement broke laws.
The inspector general’s report cited “longstanding, systemic weaknesses” with State Department records that predated Clinton’s tenure, and found problems with the email record-keeping of some of her predecessors that failed to comply with the Federal Records Act.
But it singled out Clinton for her decision to use a private server in her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., for government business, apparently without seeking authorization.
“OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server,” the report said, using an abbreviation for the office of inspector general.
The report said she should have discussed the arrangement with the department’s security and technology officials. Officials told the inspector general’s office that they “did not - and would not - approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business.” The reason, those officials said, is because it breached department rules and presented “security risks.”

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