Thousands of emails Hillary Clinton generated as secretary of state were not archived as official government records because she used a private email account to conduct State Department business, the State Department acknowledged Monday. Aides to the former secretary of state turned over 55,000 pages of emails from her personal account to the State Department in December at its request, a department official said. Clinton’s use of the personal account for work-related emails and the State Department’s effort to gain control over the information were first reported by The New York Times. Clinton did not use a State Department email account, the paper reported. “Last year, the Department sent a letter to representatives of former secretaries of state requesting they submit any records in their possession for proper preservation. In response to our request, Secretary Clinton provided the Department with emails spanning her time at the Department,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
According to the Times, the email revelation came about due to the US House investigation into Benghazi. Security appears to be the major concern:
How many emails were in Mrs. Clinton’s account is not clear, and neither is the process her advisers used to determine which ones related to her work at the State Department before turning them over. “It’s a shame it didn’t take place automatically when she was secretary of state as it should have,” said Thomas S. Blanton, the director of the National Security Archive, a group based at George Washington University that advocates government transparency. “Someone in the State Department deserves credit for taking the initiative to ask for the records back. Most of the time it takes the threat of litigation and embarrassment.” Mr. Blanton said high-level officials should operate as President Obama does, emailing from a secure government account, with every record preserved for historical purposes. “Personal emails are not secure,” he said. “Senior officials should not be using them.” Penalties for not complying with federal record-keeping requirements are rare, because the National Archives has few enforcement abilities.How many emails were in Mrs. Clinton’s account is not clear, and neither is the process her advisers used to determine which ones related to her work at the State Department before turning them over.