NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have violated a federal act by using a personal email account for official business.
Clinton did not have a government email account and conducted all of her official business using a personal email address during her four years at the State Department, CBS2’s Don Champion reported.
According to a New York Times report, Clinton aides failed to routinely preserve and turn over her emails for collection — a move that may have violated federal records laws.
In addition, published reports say Clinton created the private account on the day her confirmation hearings began in 2009.
“I was really quite taken aback. This raises some very significant questions regarding national security, transparency and accountability, and is a real, it seems to me, a lapse in judgment by the former secretary of state,” Susan Lerner with Common Cause NY told CBS2’s Dick Brennan.
Clinton served as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.
The Times quoted a former director at the National Archives and Records Administration as calling her personal email use “unusual,” saying it should have only been used in an emergency.
“For government business, she emailed them on their department accounts, with every expectation they would be retained. When the department asked former secretaries last year for help ensuring their emails were in fact retained, we immediately said `yes,’” a Clinton spokesman said.
Clinton recently turned over thousands of emails from her private account, but only after aides reviewed them and picked which ones to turn over, Champion reported.
“The policy as a general matter allows individuals to use their personal email address as long as those emails are maintained and sent to the state department and if you ask Secretary Clinton’s team, that’s what they completed in the last month or two,” White House Spokesperson Josh Ernest said.
Clinton is widely considered the front-runner for next year’s Democratic presidential nomination.
“I think we are going to need to hear from Mrs. Clinton why she decided to completely avoid the official record and official email and how she is going to moderate her behavior in the future,” Lerner said.
In a tweet, Jeb Bush, a likely 2016 Republican contender, called for her unclassified emails to be released.
A Clinton aide maintains the former secretary complied with the “letter and spirit of the rules.”
The State Department said it has “long had access to a wide array” of Clinton’s records, including emails exchanged between her and officials with government-issued email addresses, the Associated Press reported.
Current Secretary of State John Kerry is the first person in the position to rely primarily on a standard government email account, the department said.
The department adds the agency is in the process of updating records and policies to bring them in line with the national archives and are archiving Kerry’s emails.