Clinton wiped e-mail server 'clean'

2015-03-28 14:08
(Seth Wenig, AP)

(Seth Wenig, AP)

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Washington - Hillary Clinton wiped "clean" her private server that hosted her e-mails while secretary of state, permanently deleting all correspondence, and did not turn over more of the messages, lawmakers said on Friday.

A simmering scandal over Clinton's admitted use of a private e-mail account for the duration of her four years as President Barack Obama's top diplomat has threatened to mar a spring rollout of her all-but-certain White House campaign.

"We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server," House Benghazi Committee chairperson Trey Gowdy said in a statement after Clinton's lawyer wrote to explain why no new e-mails would be forthcoming from the likely 2016 presidential candidate.

Gowdy had issued a subpoena for all Clinton e-mails related to Libya, particularly the 11 September 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans, and formally requested she turn over her server to a neutral third party.

It is unclear exactly when Clinton decided to permanently delete all e-mails from her server, but Gowdy said it appears to have occurred after 28 October, when the state department first asked her to hand over the records.

'Unprecedented' deletion of records

In a letter to Gowdy, Clinton lawyer David Kendall wrote that she has already complied with the order to hand over all work-related e-mails to the state department.

Now, with that review process complete, "there are no hdr22@clintonemail.com e-mails from Secretary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorised," he said.

Reiterating what Clinton herself had conveyed at a press conference earlier this month, Kendall said Clinton and her legal team determined which e-mails were personal and unrelated to work - nearly 32,000 e-mails - and deleted them.

The remaining 30 490 work-related e-mails were provided to the state department in December at the agency's request, he said.

Gowdy called Clinton's permanent deletion of her personal records "unprecedented" and said the committee will work with leaders in the House of Representatives on a path forward.

"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," he said.

The Benghazi committee's top Democrat Elijah Cummings slammed as a "political charade" Gowdy's persistent call for e-mails that have already been handed over, and said the Clinton e-mails provided to the committee on Libya should be made public and that she should swiftly be scheduled for public testimony.

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  us

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