Email Controversy, Page Two
On March 2, 2015, the New York Times' Michael S. Schmidt reported that Hillary Clinton "exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state."  

Critics had a field day with this bit of news, and even allies were taken aback. 

On March 5, Clinton tweeted, "
I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.

This story continued to reverberate, however, and on March 10 Clinton responded by holding a press conference and issuing a Q&A statement (below).  Critics were not satisfied.


Remarks to the Press
Hillary Rodham Clinton
United Nations
New York, NY
March 10, 2015

All set. Good afternoon. I want to thank the United Nations for hosting today’s events and putting the challenge of gender equality front and center on the international agenda.

I’m especially pleased to have so many leaders here from the private sector, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with advocates who’ve worked tirelessly for equality for decades. Twenty years ago, this was a lonelier struggle.

Today, we marked the progress that has been made in the two decades since the international community gathered in Beijing and declared with one voice that, “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.”

And because of advances in health, education, and legal protections, we can say that there has never been a better time in history to be born female.

Yet as the comprehensive new report published by the Clinton Foundation and the Gates
Foundation this week makes clear, despite all this progress, when it comes to the full
participation of women and girls, we’re just not there yet.

As I said today, this remains the great unfinished business of the 21st century. And my passion  for this fight burns as brightly today as it did twenty years ago.

I want to comment on a matter in the news today regarding Iran. The President and his team are in the midst of intense negotiations. Their goal is a diplomatic solution that would close off Iran's pathways to a nuclear bomb and give us unprecedented access and insight into Iran's nuclear program.

Now reasonable people can disagree about what exactly it will take to accomplish this objective, and we all must judge any final agreement on its merits.

But, the recent letter from Republican senators was out of step with the best traditions of
American leadership. And one has to ask: what was the purpose of this letter?

There appear to be two logical answers -- either these Senators were trying to be helpful to the Iranians, or harmful to the commander-in-chief in the midst of high-stakes international diplomacy. Either answer does discredit to the letter's signatories.
Now, I would be pleased to talk more about this important matter, but I know there have been  questions about my emails, so I want to address that directly and then I will take a few questions from you.
There are four things I want the public to know.
First, when I got to work as Secretary of State, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account – which was allowed by the state department – because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails, instead of two.

Looking back, it would have been better if I had simply used a second email account and carried a second phone, but at the time, this didn’t seem like an issue.
Second, the vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department.

Third, after I left office the State Department asked former secretaries of state for our assistance in providing copies of work-related emails from our personal accounts.

I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related, which totaled roughly 55,000 printed pages. Even though I knew the state department had the vast majority of them.

We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department. At the end, I chose not to keep my private, personal emails. Emails about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements. Condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations: the other things you typically find in in-boxes. No one wants their personal emails made public. And I think most people understand that and respect that privacy.

Fourth, I took the unprecedented step of asking that the State Department make all my work-related emails public for everyone to see.

I am very proud of the work that I, my colleagues, and our public servants at the Department did during my four years as Secretary of State. And I look forward to people being able to see that for themselves.

Again, looking back, it would have been better for me to use two separate phones and two email accounts. I thought using one device would be simpler, and obviously, it hasn’t worked out that way.

And Now, I am happy to take a few questions.



We wanted to take this opportunity, given how much information has been circulating, to provide the best information we have about an understandably confusing situation. This document is on-the-record as “Statement from the Office of Former Secretary Clinton.”


Like Secretaries of State before her, Secretary Clinton used her own email account when engaging with State Department officials. For work, it was her practice to email them on their “.gov” accounts, with every expectation those emails would be captured and preserved immediately in the Department's system.

When the Department asked former Secretaries last year for help ensuring that their work emails were in fact retained, she said yes and provided printed copies of all of her work-related emails. She has since asked the Department to make the emails she provided available to the public.

She is proud of the work that she and the public servants at the Department did during her four years as Secretary of State and looks forward to people being able to see that for themselves.

Why did she use her own email account?

As the Secretary has said publicly, when she got to the Department, she wanted the simplicity of using one device. She opted to use her personal email account as a matter of convenience; it enabled her to reach people quickly and keep in regular touch with her family and friends more easily given her travel schedule. That is the only reason she used her own account. Her usage was widely known to the over 100 Department and U.S. government colleagues she emailed, as her address was visible on every email she sent. To address requirements to keep records of her work emails, it was her practice to email government officials on their “.gov” accounts. That way, they would be immediately captured and preserved in the Department's system.
Was this allowed?

Yes. The laws and regulations allowed her to use her own email for work.

Under the Federal Records Act, records are defined as recorded information, regardless of its form or characteristics, “made or received by a Federal agency under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business.” [44 U.S.C. § 3301]. In 2009, the National Archives and Record Administration issued guidance reaffirming a prior regulation (36 CFR § 1234.24) on the need to preserve work emails.

In meeting the record-keeping obligations, it was Secretary Clinton’s practice to email government officials on their “.gov” accounts, so her work emails were immediately captured and preserved.

Was she ever provided guidance about her use of a non-“.gov” email account?

The Department has and did provide guidance regarding the need to preserve federal records, which included her work emails. To address requirements to keep records of her work emails, it was her practice to email government employees on their “.gov” email address. That way, work emails would be immediately captured and preserved in government record-keeping systems.

What did Secretary Clinton provide to the Department?

On December 5, 2014, 30,490 printed copies of work-related emails sent and received by Secretary Clinton from March 18, 2009 to February 1, 2013 were provided to the Department. This totaled roughly 55,000 pages. About 90% of these emails were already in the Department’s record-keeping system because they were sent to or received by “” accounts
[Before March 18, 2009, Secretary Clinton continued using the email account she had used during her Senate service. Given her practice from the beginning of emailing Department officials on their accounts, her work-related emails during these initial weeks would have been captured and preserved in the Department's record-keeping system. She, however, no longer had access to these emails once she transitioned from this account.]

Why did the Select Committee announce that she used multiple email addresses during her tenure?

In fairness to the Committee, this was an honest misunderstanding. Secretary Clinton used one email account during her tenure at State (with the exception of her first weeks in office while transitioning from an email account she had previously used). In March 2013, a month after she left the Department, Gawker published the email address she used while Secretary, and so she had to change the address on her account.

At the time the printed copies were provided to the Department last year, because it was the same account, the new email address established after she left office appeared on the printed copies as the sender, and not the address she used as Secretary. In fact, this address on the account did not exist until March 2013. This led to understandable confusion that was cleared up directly with the Committee after its press conference.

Why did the Department ask for assistance? Why did the Department need assistance in further meeting its requirements under the Federal Records Act?

The Department formally requested the assistance of the four previous former Secretaries in a letter to their representatives dated October 28, 2014 to help in furtherance of meeting the Department’s requirements under the Federal Records Act.

The letter stated that in September 2013, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) issued new guidance clarifying records management responsibilities regarding the use of personal email accounts for government business.

While this guidance was issued after all four former Secretaries had departed office, the Department decided to ensure its records were as complete as possible and sought copies of work emails sent or received by the Secretaries on their own accounts.

Why was the Department given printed copies?

That is the requirement. The instructions regarding electronic mail in the Foreign Affairs Manual require that “until technology allowing archival capabilities for long-term electronic storage and retrieval of E-mail messages is available and installed, those messages warranting preservation as records (for periods longer than current E-mail systems routinely maintain them) must be printed out and filed with related records.” [5 FAM 443.3].

Were any work items deleted in the course of producing the printed copies?


How many emails were in her account? And how many of those were provided to the Department?

Her email account contained a total of 62,320 sent and received emails from March 2009 to February 2013. Based on the review process described below, 30,490 of these emails were provided to the Department, and the remaining 31,830 were private, personal records.

How and who decided what should be printed and provided to the Department?

The Federal Records Act puts the obligation on the government official to determine what is and is not a federal record. The State Department Foreign Affairs Manual outlines guidance “designed to help employees determine which of their e-mail messages must be preserved as federal records and which may be deleted without further authorization because they are not Federal record materials.” [5 FAM 443.1(c)].

Following conversations with Department officials and in response to the Department’s October 28, 2014 letter to former Secretaries requesting assistance in meeting the Department’s record-keeping requirements, Secretary Clinton directed her attorneys to assist by identifying and preserving all emails that could potentially be federal records. This entailed a multi-step process to provide printed copies of the Secretary’s work-related emails to the Department, erring on the side of including anything that might potentially be a federal record. As the State Department has said, Secretary Clinton was the first to respond to this letter.

A search was conducted on Secretary Clinton’s email account for all emails sent and received from 2009 to her last day in office, February 1, 2013.

After this universe was determined, a search was conducted for a “.gov” (not just in any address field in an email. This produced over 27,500 emails, representing more than 90% of the 30,490 printed copies that were provided to the Department.

To help identify any potential non-“.gov “correspondence that should be included, a search of first and last names of more than 100 State Department and other U.S. government officials was performed. This included all Deputy Secretaries, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Ambassadors-at-Large, Special Representatives and Envoys, members of the Secretary’s Foreign Policy Advisory Board, and other senior officials to the Secretary, including close aides and staff.

Next, to account for non-obvious or non-recognizable email addresses or misspellings or other idiosyncrasies, the emails were sorted and reviewed both by sender and recipient.

Lastly, a number of terms were specifically searched for, including: “Benghazi” and “Libya.”
These additional three steps yielded just over another 2,900 emails, including emails from former Administration officials and long-time friends that may not be deemed by the Department to be federal records. And hundreds of these emails actually had already been forwarded onto the system and captured in real-time.

With respect to materials that the Select Committee has requested, the Department has stated that just under 300 emails related to Libya were provided by the Department to the Select Committee in response to a November 2014 letter, which contained a broader request for materials than prior requests from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Given Secretary Clinton’s practice of emailing Department officials on their addresses, the Department already had, and had already provided, the Select Committee with emails from Secretary Clinton in August 2014 – prior to requesting and receiving printed copies of her emails.

The review process described above confirmed Secretary Clinton’s practice of emailing Department officials on their .gov address, with the vast majority of the printed copies of work-related emails Secretary Clinton provided to the Department simply duplicating what was already captured in the Department’s record-keeping system in real time.

When the emails provided to the Department are made available, what is an example of what we will see?

You will see everything from the work of government, to emails with State and other Administration colleagues, to LinkedIn invites, to talk about the weather -- essentially what anyone would see in their own email account.

Did Secretary Clinton use this account to communicate with foreign officials?

During her time at State, she communicated with foreign officials in person, through correspondence, and by telephone. The review of all of her emails revealed only one email with a foreign (UK) official.

Do you think a third party should be allowed to review what was turned over to the Department, as well as the remainder that was not?

The Federal Records Act puts the obligation on the government official, not the agency or a third party, to determine what is and is not a federal record. The State Department Foreign Affairs Manual outlines guidance “designed to help employees determine which of their e-mail messages must be preserved as federal records and which may be deleted without further authorization because they are not Federal record materials.” [5 FAM 443.1(c)].

Secretary Clinton responded to the Department’s request by providing approximately 55,000 pages of her work-related emails. She has also taken the unprecedented step of asking that those emails be made public. In doing so, she has sought to support the Department's efforts, fulfill her responsibility of record- keeping and provide the chance for the public to assess the work she and officials at the Department did during her tenure.

After her work-related emails were identified and preserved, Secretary Clinton chose not to keep her private, personal emails that were not federal records. These were private, personal messages, including emails about her daughter’s wedding plans, her mother’s funeral services, and condolence notes, as well as emails on family vacations, yoga routines, and other items one would typically find in their own email account, such as offers from retailers, spam, etc.

Government officials are granted the privacy of their personal, non-work related emails, including personal emails on .gov accounts. Secretary Clinton exercised her privilege to ensure the continued privacy of her personal, non-work related emails.

Can’t she release the emails she provided to the Department herself?

Because the printed copies of work-related emails she provided to the Department include federal records of the Department, the Department needs to review these emails before they can be made public. She wants them to be made available as soon as possible.

Was classified material sent or received by Secretary Clinton on this email address?

No. A separate, closed system was used by the Department for the sole purpose of handling classified communications which was designed to prevent such information from being transmitted anywhere other than within that system, including to outside email accounts.

How did Secretary Clinton receive and consume classified information?

The Secretary’s office is located in a secure area. Classified information was viewed in hard copy by the Secretary while in the office. While on travel, the Department had rigorous protocols for her and traveling staff to receive and transmit information of all types.

Where was the server for her email located?

The server for her email was physically located on her property, which is protected by U.S. Secret Service.

What level of encryption was employed? Who was the service provider, etc?

The security and integrity of her family’s electronic communications was taken seriously from the onset when it was first set up for President Clinton’s team. While the curiosity in the specifics of this set up is understandable, given what people with ill-intentions can do with such information in this day and age, there are concerns about broadcasting specific technical details about past and current practices. However, suffice it to say, robust protections were put in place and additional upgrades and techniques employed over time as they became available, including consulting and employing third party experts.

Was the server ever hacked?

No, there is no evidence there was ever a breach.

Was there ever an unauthorized intrusion into her email or did anyone else have access to it?


What was done after her email was exposed in February 2013 after the hacker known as “Guccifer” hacked Sid Blumenthal’s account?

While this was not a breach of Secretary Clinton’s account, because her email address was exposed, steps were taken at that time to ensure the security and integrity of her electronic communications.

Was the Department able to respond to requests related to FOIA or Congressional requests before they received printed copies of her work- related emails?

Yes. As the Select Committee has said, the Department provided the Committee with relevant emails it already had on the system before the Department requested any printed copies from former Secretaries, and four months before the Department received the printed copies.

For example, in the well-publicized hack of Sid Blumenthal’s email account, a note he sent Secretary Clinton on September 12, 2012 was posted online. At first blush, one might not think this exchange would be captured on the system. But in fact, Secretary Clinton forwarded the email, that very same day, onto the system. And the email was produced by the Department to the Select Committee, and acknowledged by the Select Committee, in August 2014.

This example illustrates: 1) when an email from a non-“.gov” sender had some connection to work or might add to the understanding of Department officials, it was Secretary Clinton’s practice to forward it to officials at their “” address; and 2) the Department was able to search and produce Secretary Clinton’s emails when needed long before, and unrelated to, receiving the printed copies as they were already captured on accounts.

When will the emails be released to the public?

Secretary Clinton has asked the Department to make her emails available as soon as possible. She is proud of the work that she and the public servants at the Department did during her four years as Secretary of State and is looking forward to people having the chance to see that for themselves. 

Rick Santorum

For Immediate Release
March 10, 2015
Contact:    Virginia Davis
                 Matt Beynon


Santorum responds to Clinton's email scandal press conference

VERONA, PA - Former Republican presidential candidate, U.S. Senator, and Chairman of Patriot Voices Rick Santorum issued the following statement in response to Secretary Clinton's news conference to address her email scandal.


Rick Santorum said: "It was disappointing that Secretary Clinton did not answer the most important questions on the minds of Americans regarding how she may have put their security at risk and why she erased emails from her private server at a time when she was our nation's leading diplomat.  Secretary Clinton may now recognize that she made a mistake, but her true lapse in judgment was not recognizing from the start that she should not have used a personal email account to conduct national security business.  Secretary Clinton's press conference today only raises more questions about her tenure at the State Department and she must be more forthcoming with the American people in the days ahead because it does matter."



Carly Fiorina    @CarlyFiorina
March 10, 2015

In effect, @HillaryClinton told us to trust her. Nothing in her track record suggests we should do so.

Iowa Republican Party
March 10, 2015

Statement from Chairman Kaufmann: "Hillary Clinton has been inside her D.C. bubble for so long that she's forgotten what it means to be a public servant. Mrs. Clinton said nothing to assuage concerns that she is hiding important State Department emails on her private server, and worse, she admitted to deleting emails. This most recent controversy is only the latest reason why Iowa is not ready for Hillary and her shady tricks."

Select Committee on Benghazi
March 10, 2015 

Gowdy Statement on Clinton Press Conference

Washington, DC-  Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., issued the following statement in response to the press conference held by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

“Having finally heard from Secretary Clinton about her exclusive use of personal email with which to conduct official business while serving as Secretary of State, regrettably we are left with more questions than answers. For instance, there remain serious questions about the security of the system she employed from a national security standpoint, who authorized this exclusive use of personal email despite guidance to the contrary from both her State Department and the White House, who had access to the server from the time Secretary Clinton left office until the time—almost two years later—the State Department asked for these public records back, and who culled through the records to determine which were personal and which were public.

“Without access to Secretary Clinton’s personal server, there is no way for the State Department to know it has acquired all documents that should be made public, and given State’s delay in disclosing the fact Secretary Clinton exclusively used personal email to conduct State business, there is no way to accept State’s or Secretary Clinton’s certification she has turned over all documents that rightfully belong to the American people. That is why I see no choice but for Secretary Clinton to turn her server over to a neutral, detached third-party arbiter who can determine which documents should be public and which should remain private. Secretary Clinton alone created this predicament, but she alone does not get to determine its outcome. These public records at issue are broader than Libya and broader than Benghazi. The Secretary of State has enormous responsibility and jurisdiction and the public, the media and Congress have a legal right to access these public records without impediment.

“Because Secretary Clinton has created more questions than answers, the Select Committee is left with no choice but to call her to appear at least twice. The first appearance will be to clear up her role and resolve issues surrounding her exclusive use of personal email to conduct official business. This is necessary to establish our Committee has a complete record with respect to Secretary Clinton’s time in office. Our committee will then call her to appear before the Committee in a public hearing to answer questions specifically regarding Libya and the Benghazi terrorist attacks that took the lives of our four brave fellow citizens.”

American Bridge 21st Century

To: Interested Parties
From: Brad Woodhouse, President, American Bridge 21st Century
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Re: 10 Questions For Jeb Bush And One For The Media

I have one question for the media. If y'all are going to spend every waking moment obsessing over the minutiae of Hillary Clinton's email habits, why shouldn't Jeb Bush -- whose usage of private emails and servers during his tenure as governor is strikingly similar to Clinton's -- be subject to the same scrutiny?

If anything, Governor Bush has more issues with his transparency than Secretary Clinton, and he's done far less to address them.

So here are ten questions he should answer:

1. If Bush sent and received over 3 million emails as governor, as he has said himself, how are we to believe only 250,000 were public records?

2. How did Jeb Bush decide which emails were public records and which staff members were in charge of that process?

3. What key issues were discussed in the 90% of emails that remain unreleased? The 2000 recall? Terry Schaivo?

4. Did Jeb Bush delete emails, or are the remaining emails all preserved somewhere?

5. When did Jeb Bush finish handing over emails to the state archives of Florida, and did he comply with state law?

6. Jeb Bush also had a private server -- why did he think that was necessary? 
7. Where was the Bush server located? 

8. Why did Bush staff members and family members have emails on the server?

9. As Governor of Florida, and brother of the President, Jeb Bush engaged with foreign leaders and the White House - was that server secure for such important communications, and are any of those emails being hidden?

10. Did Jeb have multiple email devices, or did he use all emails from the same government issued phone?

Republican National Committee
March 11, 2015

FROM: RNC Research Director and Deputy Communications Director Raj Shah
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Clinton’s Deceptive Press Conference
The reviews are in. Hillary Clinton’s much-awaited press conference was a huge disappointment for the American people. In classic Clintonian fashion, she refused to apologize for any wrongdoing, failed to be honest or candid, and above all, refuses further disclosure.  Now we’re left with more questions than answers.


First, she claimed that she used private email and a private server for “convenience.” She just didn’t want to use two devices, which is an odd thing to say for someone who just weeks ago said she used two devices—both an iPhone and a Blackberry, in addition to an iPad and a mini iPad.

She said that the server was needed for her husband’s email. But President Clinton’s aides told the Wall Street Journal he hasn’t emailed since leaving office. The server was also set up just as she was starting her job as Secretary of State. Curious timing.

Also, as many people are asking: how exactly is going to all the trouble of setting up a personal server in your home “convenient”?


Next, Clinton said she complied with all the rules. That is demonstrably false.

She violated a 2005 rule. In 2005, according to the Washington Post, the State Department updated “the Foreign Affairs manual to state that ‘sensitive but unclassified’ information should not be transmitted through personal e-mail accounts.”

She violated a 2009 rule. In 2009, federal regulations were updated requiring employees using non-government email to “ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency recordkeeping system.”

She violated a 2011 rule. In 2011, a State Department cable bearing her signature warned employees to “avoid conducting official Department business from your personal e-mail accounts.”

And she violated the employee regulations that she made all other State Department personnel comply with.

Even MSNBC fact checked this assertion, with liberal host Lawrence O’Donnell saying Clinton’s secret email server “was not in compliance with” State Department regulations.

Clinton pointed to precedent to excuse her behavior. But there is no precedent. Secretary Colin Powell preceded the rules in question. Secretary Condoleezza Rice used a .gov email. Secretary John Kerry uses a .gov email.

Hillary Clinton’s questionable and risky behavior was, to use a word from her press conference, “unprecedented.”


Team Clinton is moving the goal posts. Last week, they claimed that 90% of her emails were handed over to the State Department. But yesterday, Hillary said that only 50 percent of her emails were related to business, and the other 50 percent she kept secret. Nevertheless, Team Clinton allowed the “90%” figure to be reported over and over, uncorrected. 


Clinton claimed that her server, which could have housed sensitive government information, was never hacked. But she does not know that. She cannot prove it.  


But the biggest issue remains: her email will remain private. She will not allow a neutral arbiter to review the emails or access the server. The only emails the State Department will have are the emails that Hillary Clinton wants it to have.

She offered the public no assurances beyond a Trust Me argument. We have no idea if she’s telling the truth, and Hillary Clinton has done little to earn the public’s trust. After all, she only gave this press conference out of pressure from the media, not out of any personal desire to be honest and transparent.
NBC’s Chuck Todd said the public deserves “more than an explanation.” He’s right. The public deserves an apology and true transparency.

We also deserve more answers.


Because the press conference was so short, there are many unanswered questions:

Did the State Department approve of her email scheme?

Did anyone at the White House approve of her email scheme?

Did she send sensitive but unclassified information over her personal email?

Did she email about official matters with top advisor and State Department official Huma Abedin who also had an address on Clinton’s private server?

Did she actually email with her husband whose aides tell the press he doesn’t email?

Does she find the two devices she uses today inconvenient?

And what about the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign donations while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, a question she substantively ignored?

Did she ever use her personal email to solicit donations to the foundation? Did she do so as Secretary of State?

When is the next press conference to answer all the remaining questions?
On March 18 the Associated Press sued the State Department in U.S. District Court over unfulfilled FOIA requests...

Society of Professional Journalists

March 13, 2015

Dana Neuts, SPJ President
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist

SPJ supports AP in lawsuit seeking to force the State Department to release Clinton emails

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists strongly supports The Associated Press in its lawsuit against the State Department in an effort to force the release of email correspondence and government documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. On Tuesday, Clinton revealed that she sent and received about 60,000 emails from her personal email address during her term, with about half being work-related. Clinton said she deleted tens of thousands of personal emails, but turned the remainder over to the State Department.

The lawsuit follows repeated requests filed by The Associated Press under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act that have not been honored to date, including a request made five years ago and others that have been pending since the summer of 2013. The FOIA requests and the lawsuit seek materials related to Clinton’s public and private calendars, correspondence involving aides likely to play roles in Clinton’s anticipated campaign for president, Clinton-related emails about the Osama bin Laden raid and NSA surveillance practices, and documents related to her role overseeing a major Defense Department contractor.

SPJ expects the State Department to adhere to Freedom of Information laws and honor The Associated Press’ FOI requests, and any other related requests in a timely fashion. We need to be able to trust our federal government to honor the law and to set an example for state and local governments to follow. It is time for our country’s leaders to set a good example, stop paying lip service to government transparency, and actually respect and adhere to the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

It is hypocritical for Clinton to speak, as she did as secretary of state, about the importance of government transparency, criticizing other governments for not embracing high standards of openness and transparency with their citizens, while keeping her own emails private while she served as secretary of state. While Clinton may have voluntarily turned over approximately half of those emails to the State Department, she deleted the other half.

In a speech in 2011, Clinton said, “When a government hides its work from public view, hands out jobs and money to political cronies, administers unequal justice, looks away as corrupt bureaucrats and businessmen enrich themselves at the people’s expense, that government is failing its citizens. And most importantly, that government is failing to earn and hold the trust of its people. And that lack of trust, in a world of instantaneous communication, means that the very fabric of society begins to fray and the foundation of governmental legitimacy begins to crumble.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit

Republican National Committee
March 17, 2015

RNC Sends FOIA Requests to the State Department

WASHINGTON – The RNC today submitted two FOIA requests to the State Department seeking copies of the “separation statements” signed by Hillary Clinton and her top aides and records related to the configuration, vetting, and/or encryption of Secretary Clinton's personal Blackberry, and if she had received an exemption for its use.  
“Hillary Clinton clearly violated the spirit of the ‘Separation Statement’ that she compelled all other Department personnel to sign,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “While the State Department has failed to answer whether she signed the agreement herself, it cannot ignore a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The RNC intends to learn whether Clinton violated State Department guidelines in not signing the statement, or if she signed it making a false statement, and as a result, violated the law. We will exhaust all administrative options and will consider potential legal action if the State Department fails to comply with this request.”
The FOIA requests can be viewed here and here

Select Committee on Benghazi
March 20, 2015

Select Committee on Benghazi Formally Requests Clinton Turn Over Server to Neutral Third Party

Washington, DC-- Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy today sent a letter requesting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turn over the server she used for official State Department business to the State Department inspector general or a neutral third party for independent analysis of what records should be in the public domain.

“Though Secretary Clinton alone is responsible for causing this issue, she alone does not get to determine its outcome,” said Gowdy, R-S.C. “That is why in the interest of transparency for the American people, I am formally requesting she turn the server over to the State Department’s inspector general or a mutually agreeable third party.

“An independent analysis of the private server Secretary Clinton used for the official conduct of U.S. government business is the best way to remove politics and personal consideration from the equation. Having a neutral, third-party arbiter such as the State Department IG do a forensic analysis and document review is an eminently fair and reasonable means to determine what should be made public. 

“As I have said many times, we have no interest in Secretary Clinton’s personal emails, but the American people have a clear right to the public records from her time as secretary of State.”

The letter transmitted today to the former secretary’s personal attorney lays out the Select Committee’s exhaustive efforts to acquire her official communications regarding Libya as part of the committee’s inquiry into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks.

The letter also notes the former secretary’s unprecedented email arrangement involving the use of private email and a server to maintain exclusive control over her official record while in office.

Gowdy has previously said he would support the server being turned over to a retired federal judge, an archivist or other inspector general to make public record determinations, and he reiterated his willingness to work to find a neutral arbiter that is agreeable to all concerned. He also stressed the importance of the committee getting a responsive and complete set of Libya-related documents from State Department to help expedite the committee’s inquiry.

Editor’s Note:  Attached is a link to the letter Chairman Gowdy sent to Clinton’s attorney.

Select Committee on Benghazi
March 27, 2015

Statement Regarding Subpoena Compliance and Server Determination by Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Washington, DC—Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy today issued the following statement regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s response to the committee’s subpoena. She failed to produce a single new document and refused to relinquish her server to a neutral, detached third party for an independent review of potential public records:

“After seeking and receiving a two week extension from the Committee, Secretary Clinton failed to provide a single new document to the subpoena issued by the Committee and refused to provide her private server to the Inspector General for the State Department or any other independent arbiter for analysis.

“We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server.  While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.

“Not only was the Secretary the sole arbiter of what was a public record, she also summarily decided to delete all emails from her server ensuring no one could check behind her analysis in the public interest.”

“In light of the Secretary’s unprecedented email arrangement with herself and her decision nearly two years after she left office to permanently delete all emails and because the equities at stake involve not only those of the Select Committee and Congress more broadly, but also those of the American people and their right to the full record of her tenure as secretary of State, we will work with the leadership of the House of Representatives as the Committee considers next steps. But it is clear Congress will need to speak with the former Secretary about her email arrangement and the decision to permanently delete those emails.”

Select Committee on Benghazi
March 31, 2015

Select Committee Formally Requests Secretary Clinton Interview on Email Arrangement

Washington, DC—Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy today sent a letter requesting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to appear before the Committee for a transcribed interview regarding her use of private email and a personal server for official State Department business. The letter reads:
Mr. David E. Kendall
Williams & Connolly LLP
725 12th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
Dear Mr. Kendall:
On March 19, 2015, the Committee asked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to provide her personal email server to the Inspector General for the State Department to ensure the full record of her tenure as Secretary was preserved.  This request allows for a neutral, detached and independent third-party review of the server to identify information responsive to this Committee’s subpoena.  The Committee suggested the current Inspector General for the Department of State—nominated by President Obama and confirmed without a dissenting vote by the U.S. Senate—to conduct this review independently.  The Committee was then and remains open to the designation of another neutral, detached, and independent arbiter to review Secretary Clinton’s server to ensure all relevant records have been preserved and produced to the Committee consistent with its subpoena.
Secretary Clinton’s refusal to allow the Inspector General to ensure the public record is complete is not only disappointing but portends to delay the ability of our Committee to complete its work as expeditiously as possible.  We, therefore, urge the Secretary to reconsider her position and allow a neutral, detached, and independent arbiter ensure the public record is complete and all materials relevant to the Committee’s work have been provided to the Committee.
If the Secretary continues to reject the offer of a neutral review, the House of Representatives as a whole will need to consider its next steps.  As you know the production of documents made to the Select Committee represents a very small portion of the total public record housed in the Secretary’s possession until recently.  As such, other committees of Congress as well as the media and the public at large have equities in the Secretary’s public record.
Although I have made this abundantly clear, it bears repeating: our Committee has no interest in any emails related to the Secretary’s personal, private matters nor is our Committee seeking documents unrelated to Libya and Benghazi during the relevant time periods. The Committee is, however, committed to reviewing and considering every document related to the work the House of Representatives charged us with doing. 
Toward that end and because of the Secretary’s unique arrangement with herself as it relates to public records during and after her tenure as Secretary of State, this Committee is left with no alternative but to request Secretary Clinton appear before this Committee for a transcribed interview to better understand decisions the Secretary made relevant to the creation, maintenance, retention, and ultimately deletion of public records.  The Committee is willing to schedule the interview at a time convenient for Secretary Clinton, but no later than May 1, 2015. 
The Committee believes a transcribed interview would best protect Secretary Clinton’s privacy, the security of the information queried, and the public’s interest in ensuring this Committee has all information needed to accomplish the task set before it. 
Once there is a reasonable assurance all documents in the Secretary’s care, custody and control related to what happened before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi have been shared with the Committee, we will be in a position to schedule her appearance in a public hearing to constructively discuss these topics.   We share the Secretary’s desire these two conversations take place as quickly and efficiently as possible, and are willing to expedite both working with your office, the Secretary’s schedule and our Democrat colleagues on the Committee.  What the Committee cannot do is conclude its work without assurances the Committee has all relevant information necessary for us to discharge the duties required of us.
We continue to believe Secretary Clinton’s email arrangement with herself is highly unusual, if not unprecedented.  The decision to delete these records during the pendency of a congressional investigation only exacerbates our need to better understand what the Secretary did, when she did it, and why she did it.  While she has cited a variety of justifications for this arrangement, many questions and details about the arrangement remain unanswered.  These questions relate to:
  1. her decision to bypass an official government email account;
  1. whether she affirmatively turned over any relevant records during the pendency of the Accountability Review Board investigation or at any time after Congress first began investigating the Benghazi attack until December 2014;
  1. her decision to retain those records upon separation from the Department of State;
  1. the methodology by which these emails were subsequently searched for evidence of official records; and
  1. her decision to delete certain emails.
The Committee also reiterates pending the resolution of this matter the server and any associated information, data, backups, and equipment must be preserved wherever they reside and that any further deletion or destruction of data or information must cease.  As you should be well aware, it is technically possible in many instances to recover electronic information notwithstanding whether it has been “deleted” or overwritten.  It is precisely for this reason a neutral and objective party must have access to the server and related equipment to identify information potentially responsive to relevant laws and investigative requests. 
We look forward to working closely with you to schedule both Secretary Clinton’s private transcribed interview related to her email arrangement as well as her public appearance before the Committee.
Trey Gowdy
Editor’s Note:  Attached is a link to the letter Chairman Gowdy sent to Clinton’s attorney.

Freedom Watch
March 24, 2015

Klayman Files RICO Racketeering Case Against Hillary and Bill Clinton and their Family Foundation Over Email Scandal

Criminal Enterprise Alleged to Occur Over 10 Years Culminating in Present Email Scandal Conceived to Hide Incriminating Evidence and Obstruct Justice

Washington, D.C., March 25, 2015). Today, Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch and a former federal prosecutor, filed a civil suit against Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and their family foundation alleging criminal violations under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"). The suit was filed before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Civil Action No. 9:15-cv-80388. A copy of the complaint can be viewed at

The lawsuit alleges a pattern over ten years of the Clintons engaging in two or more predicate acts constituting a criminal enterprise, designed to enrich them personally. In this regard, Klayman alleges that the Clintons – through mail and wire fraud, and various false statements – misappropriated documents which he was entitled to receive and possess under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") concerning Hillary Clinton's involvement in releasing Israeli war and cyber-warfare plans and practices. The complaint alleges that Hillary Clinton orchestrated this release to harm and thwart Israeli plans to preemptively attack Iranian nuclear sites to stop the Islamic nation's march to producing atomic weapons. Another FOIA request called for the production of Mrs. Clinton's and other State Department's records which refer or relate to the granting of waivers for persons, companies, countries and other interests to do business with Iran, thereby undermining the economic sanctions. These acts are alleged to be the result of the defendants selling government influence in exchange for bribes from interests which have donated to The Clinton Foundation, paid huge speaking fees to the Clintons and other means. The present email scandal is alleged to cover up evidence of these and other related crimes by hiding emails that would incriminate the Clintons and their foundation.

Klayman issued this statement:

"This is the first and only hard-hitting case to address the growing email scandal. What Hillary Clinton, her husband, and their foundation have done is nothing new. It is simply part of a criminal enterprise which dates back at least 10 years, all designed to enrich themselves personally at the expense of the American people and our nation. It's time, however, that they finally be held legally accountable."