A State Department watchdog concluded that Hillary Clinton failed to comply with the agency’s policies on records while using a personal email server that was not — and, officials say, would never have been — approved by agency officials, according to a report released to lawmakers on Wednesday.
The long-awaited findings from the State Department inspector general, which also revealed Clinton expressing reluctance about using an official email account, were shared with Capitol Hill Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO. The report detailed how some employees who questioned the wisdom of the homegrown setup were told to stop asking questions, and the audit confirmed apparent hacking attempts on the private server.
It's the latest turn in the headache-inducing saga that has dogged Clinton's campaign. While the report concludes that the agency suffers from "longstanding, systemic weaknesses" with records that "go well beyond the tenure of any one Secretary of State,” it specifically dings Clinton for her exclusive use of private email during her four years at the agency.
“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” the report states. “At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."
The report also notes that she had an "obligation to discuss using her personal email account" but did not get permission from the people who would have needed to approve the technology, who said they would not have done so, if they had been asked.