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Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account - The New York Times

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Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account


By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and MATT APUZZO

JULY 23, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton at an event in West Columbia, S.C., on Thursday. Her email use while secretary of
state has been an issue in the early part of her presidential run. Travis Dove for The New York Times

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WASHINGTON Two inspectors general have asked the Justice


Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive
government information was mishandled in connection with the
personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of
state, senior government officials said Thursday.

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The request follows an assessment in a June 29 memo by the


inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence
agencies that Mrs. Clintons private account contained hundreds of
potentially classified emails. The memo was written to Patrick F.
Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management.
It is not clear if any of the information in the emails was marked as
classified by the State Department when Mrs. Clinton sent or received

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9/2/2016

Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account - The New York Times

them.
But since her use of a private email account for official State
Department business was revealed in March, she has repeatedly said
that she had no classified information on the account.
The initial revelation has been an issue in the early stages of her
presidential campaign.

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President?

The Justice Department has not


decided if it will open an
investigation, senior officials said. A
spokesman for Mrs. Clintons
campaign released a statement on
Twitter on Friday morning. Any
released emails deemed classified by
the administration have been done so
after the fact, and not at the time they
were transmitted, it read.

RELATED COVERAGE

New Trove of Hillary Clintons Emails


Highlights Workaday Tasks at the
State Department JUNE 30, 2015
A Closer Look at Hillary Clintons
Emails on Benghazi MAY 21, 2015

At issue are thousands of pages of State Department emails from Mrs.


Clintons private account. Mrs. Clinton has said she used the account
because it was more convenient, but it also shielded her
correspondence from congressional and Freedom of Information Act
requests.
She faced sharp criticism after her use of the account became public,
and subsequently said she would ask the State Department to release
her emails.
The department is now reviewing some 55,000 pages of emails. A first
batch of 3,000 pages was made public on June 30.
In the course of the email review, State Department officials
determined that some information in the messages should be
retroactively classified. In the 3,000 pages that were released, for
example, portions of two dozen emails were redacted because they
were upgraded to classified status. But none of those were marked
as classified at the time Mrs. Clinton handled them.
In a second memo to Mr. Kennedy, sent on July 17, the inspectors
general said that at least one email made public by the State
Department contained classified information. The inspectors general
did not identify the email or reveal its substance.
The memos were provided to The New York Times by a senior
government official.
The inspectors general also criticized the State Department for its
handling of sensitive information, particularly its reliance on retired
senior Foreign Service officers to decide if information should be
classified, and for not consulting with the intelligence agencies about
its determinations.
In March, Mrs. Clinton insisted that she was careful in her handling of
information on her private account. I did not email any classified
material to anyone on my email, she said. There is no classified
material. So Im certainly well aware of the classification
requirements and did not send classified material.

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In May, the F.B.I. asked the State


Department to classify a section of
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9/2/2016

Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account - The New York Times

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PRIVACY POLICY

Mrs. Clintons emails that related to


suspects who may have been arrested
in connection with the 2012 attacks in
Benghazi, Libya. The information was
not classified at the time Mrs. Clinton
received it.

The revelations about how Mrs.


Clinton handled her email have been
an embarrassment for the State
Department, which has been
repeatedly criticized over its handling
of documents related to Mrs. Clinton and her advisers.
On Monday, a federal judge sharply questioned State Department
lawyers at a hearing in Washington about why they had not
responded to Freedom of Information Act requests from The
Associated Press, some of which were four years old.
I want to find out whats been going on over there I should say,
whats not been going on over there, said Judge Richard J. Leon of
United States District Court, according to a transcript obtained by
Politico. The judge said that for reasons known only to itself, the
State Department has been, to say the least, recalcitrant in
responding.
Two days later, lawmakers on the Republican-led House committee
investigating the Benghazi attacks said they planned to summon
Secretary of State John Kerrys chief of staff to Capitol Hill to answer
questions about why the department has not produced documents
that the panel subpoenaed. That hearing is set for next Wednesday.
The State Department has used every excuse to avoid complying with
fundamental requests for documents, said the chairman of the House
committee, Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South
Carolina.
Mr. Gowdy said that while the committee has used an array of
measures to try to get the State Department to hand over documents,
the results have been the same. Our committee is not in possession
of all documents needed to do the work assigned to us, he said.
The State Department has sought to delay the hearing, citing
continuing efforts to brief members of Congress on the details of the
nuclear accord with Iran. It is not clear why the State Department has
struggled with the classification issues and document production.
Republicans have said the department is trying to use those processes
to protect Mrs. Clinton.
State Department officials say they simply do not have the resources
or infrastructure to properly comply with all the requests. Since
March, requests for documents have significantly increased.
Some State Department officials said they believe that many senior
officials did not initially take the House committee seriously, which
slowed document production and created an appearance of
stonewalling.
State Department officials also said that Mr. Kerry is concerned about
the toll the criticism has had on the department and has urged his
deputies to comply with the requests quickly.

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Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account - The New York Times
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A version of this article appears in print on July 24, 2015, on page A1 of the New York edition with the
headline: Criminal Inquiry Sought in Clintons Use of Email. Order Reprints | Today's Paper | Subscribe

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