US authorities unclear if Clinton broke law using personal email

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Mar 04, 2015 23:51 IST

It was an anniversary event that would have received little notice but for the main speaker, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who is in the middle of an email controversy.

But she made no mention of it at the event here on Tuesday. She spoke about the economy and other issues while others talked about her as yet unannounced presidential campaign.

Clinton used personal email for official work while secretary of state, which has raised question if she violated federal laws on retention of government records.

That email, Associated Press reported, was hosted on a private server operating out of her house in New York, in a practice the agency called “unusual” for a senior cabinet official.

Secretary Clinton’s office turned over 50,000 pages of mails from and to her private email to the state department in response to request sent to all previous secretaries of state.

Of them, 300 refer to the September 2013 attack on the US mission in Bengahzi, Libya in which four American were killed including ambassador Christopher Steven.

The New York Times, which first reported this story, said many requests for records pertaining to her tenure went unanswered by the state department as it not have access to her emails.

Despite criticism from many quarters, including, predictably, Republicans, authorities have not said clearly if the former secretary of state violated any law.

It’s not illegal for government officials to use personal email for official work but they must be forwarded to an official account for archiving, according to law, coming into effect in November, 2014. Clinton left office in 2013 and the law had no retroactive effect.

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