‘Gaps’ seen in emails turned over by Clin­ton No mes­sages from first two months at State

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY STEPHEN DI­NAN

The emails for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton turned back over to the gov­ern­ment last year con­tained “gaps,” ac­cord­ing to in­ter­nal depart­ment mes­sages eval­u­at­ing her pro­duc­tion.

Mrs. Clin­ton took of­fice on Jan. 21, 2009, but the first mes­sage she turned back over to the depart­ment was dated March 18, and the ear­li­est­dated mes­sage she her­self sent was on April 13, or nearly three months into her time in of­fice, ac­cord­ing to a mes­sage ob­tained through an open records re­quest by Ju­di­cial Watch, which re­leased it Mon­day.

Mrs. Clin­ton has said she con­tin­ued us­ing a pre­vi­ous ac­count she’d used dur­ing her time as a sen­a­tor for busi­ness at the be­gin­ning of her time as sec­re­tary, but the dif­fer­ing dates be­tween the first email re­ceived and the first sent raise still more ques­tions.

The rev­e­la­tion of the gap comes even as the le­gal sit­u­a­tion grows more com­pli­cated.

Two Se­nate com­mit­tee chair­men pushed Mon­day to try to find out just how deeply the Jus­tice Depart­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Clin­ton email server has gone, as the two sen­a­tors tried to fig­ure out ways of get­ting Bryan Pagliano, the tech staffer who helped set up her email server at her home in New York, to spill what he knows.

In a let­ter to At­tor­ney Gen­eral Loretta E. Lynch, Sens. Chuck Grass­ley and Ron John­son asked the gov­ern­ment to say whether it would ob­ject to a “prof­fer” ses­sion be­tween the sen­a­tors and Mr. Pagliano, where he could de­tail, off the record, what he knows with­out hav­ing to worry about it be­ing used against him in a pros­e­cu­tion.

Mean­while, the State Depart­ment met with more re­sis­tance from the myr­iad groups who have sued to pry loose emails from Mrs. Clin­ton and her top aides, and who told a fed­eral court Mon­day they don’t want to see the pro­ceed­ings cen­tral­ized in a sin­gle judge.

“State should have an­tic­i­pated many years ago that it would ex­pe­ri­ence an in­crease in [Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act] re­quests for records about Mrs. Clin­ton’s ten­ure as sec­re­tary of state, and planned ac­cord­ingly. Yet ap­par­ently noth­ing was done at any time in the last six years to pre­pare for this highly fore­see­able ex­pense, and state now re­lies on its own fail­ure to pre­pare as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to de­lay com­ply­ing with its obli­ga­tions un­der FOIA,” Jason Leopold, a jour­nal­ist whose case has prompted the on­go­ing re­lease of Mrs. Clin­ton’s emails, said in a court fil­ing made by his lawyer.

Mrs. Clin­ton de­clined to use the State Depart­ment’s reg­u­lar email sys­tem dur­ing her time in of­fice, in­stead set­ting up a server at her home and us­ing an ac­count on that server. Many of her top aides also used per­sonal ac­counts or ac­counts on the server Mrs. Clin­ton kept.

Mrs. Clin­ton says she didn’t break any laws, though the State Depart­ment and at least one fed­eral judge have said she vi­o­lated pol­icy. And the use of non-State. gov ac­counts has shielded much of the in­for­ma­tion from sub­poe­nas, con­gres­sional in­quiries and open records re­quests — un­til now.

The State Depart­ment would like to shield them a lit­tle longer, hav­ing asked the fed­eral dis­trict court to con­sol­i­date more than 30 search law­suits that have been filed.


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