Grass­ley, John­son seek­ing trade in email probe

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

co­or­di­nate with the Jus­tice Depart­ment in or­der to se­cure an im­mu­nity deal.

Their of­fer raises the stakes for Mr. Pagliano and could cre­ate more peril for Mrs. Clin­ton, who has in­sisted she com­plied with all laws when op­er­at­ing the server.

But af­ter days of re­fus­ing to apol­o­gize for set­ting up her own server, Mrs. Clin­ton re­versed course Tues­day and told ABC News that she was “sorry.”

“In ret­ro­spect, as I look back at it now, even though it was al­lowed, I should have used two ac­counts — one for per­sonal, one for work-re­lated emails. That was a mis­take. I’m sorry about that. I take re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Mrs. Clin­ton said in the TV in­ter­view.

Pressed to clar­ify whether she made a mis­take in set­ting up a pri­vate email ac­count and pri­vate server to con­duct of­fi­cial busi­ness, Mrs. Clin­ton re­sponded: “I did. I did.”

“As I said, it was al­lowed, and there was no hid­ing it. It was to­tally above board. Ev­ery­body in the gov­ern­ment I com­mu­ni­cated [with] — and that was a lot of peo­ple — knew I was us­ing a per­sonal email,” she said. “But I’m sorry that it has, you know, raised all of these ques­tions. I do take re­spon­si­bil­ity for hav­ing made what is clearly not the best de­ci­sion.”

Mrs. Clin­ton’s act of con­tri­tion comes as her cam­paign ac­knowl­edged that she must re­work her im­age and try to re­gain her foot­ing in the race. She’s lost ground in the polls, and a ma­jor­ity of vot­ers say they don’t trust her, mostly due to the email con­tro­versy dog­ging her cam­paign.

While of­fer­ing an apol­ogy, Mrs. Clin­ton con­tin­ued to in­sist that the email ar­range­ment and the way she used it was “al­lowed” by the State Depart­ment, as she did in in­ter­views Fri­day with NBC News and Mon­day with The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Se­cu­rity ex­perts have dis­puted Mrs. Clin­ton’s claim that she fol­lowed the law, say­ing that she han­dled hun­dreds of clas­si­fied mes­sages on the server.

Mrs. Clin­ton has main­tained that none of the mes­sages were se­cret at the time she sent or re­ceived them, and were only up­graded now that they are be­ing re­leased to the public. The New York Times re­ported Tues­day, how­ever, that a new re­view by the in­spec­tor gen­eral for the in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity has con­cluded two mes­sages did con­tain in­for­ma­tion that was top se­cret at the time.

The State Depart­ment con­tested that re­view, say­ing it was “pre­ma­ture.”

John Kirby, a depart­ment spokesman, said they are do­ing their own anal­y­sis and “it’s not un­com­mon or atyp­i­cal for there to be this kind of give-and-take be­tween agen­cies on some­thing like this.”

The depart­ment, how­ever, is reel­ing from the mess Mrs. Clin­ton left. It faces more than 30 open records law­suits de­mand­ing the re­lease of emails Mrs. Clin­ton and her top aides kept se­cret for years af­ter they left gov­ern­ment ser­vice.

Last week the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion sought to halt most of those law­suits, ask­ing the fed­eral court in Washington to ap­point a sin­gle

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