The mainstream media won’t let up on Hillary Clinton (nor should it). Ruth Marcus poses 13 questions about Clinton’s use of private email at the State Department:
1. Why did you make the decision to use a personal email account rather than government email upon becoming secretary of state?
2. Why did you believe this approach was necessary and/or preferable to using an official email account?
3. Did others working for you at the State Department use personal email for government business? If so, please identify them and explain whether their correspondence has been transferred to the State Department.
4. Would it have been appropriate for others working for you at the State Department to use personal email for official purposes? If not, why does a different standard apply to the secretary?
5. What steps did you or others working on your behalf take before making this decision to determine whether it complied with applicable laws and regulations, and whether your communications would be adequately secured?
6. Specifically, did you consult with officials at the State Department, the White House, or other government agencies to determine whether this approach was permissible?
7. If not, why not, given the obvious questions about compliance with federal disclosure laws and concerns about cybersecurity?
8. If you did consult with officials, what were you advised? Please provide copies of any email or other correspondence/documentation reflecting these consultations.
9. If you were advised that applicable laws and regulations did not permit and/or counseled against the use of private email, why did you decide to proceed with that plan?
10. Please explain how the decision to rely on personal email and not to provide the records until after your departure and after being requested complies with, as your spokesman has said, “the letter and spirit of the rules.”
11. Specifically, C.F.R. 1236.22, which dates from 2009, provides that “agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency recordkeeping system.” What steps did you take to comply with this requirement?
12. When emails were turned over to the State Department last year, who in your office determined what emails constituted official business and what standards did they use to make that determination? Did anyone from the State Department oversee or vet this process to ensure that all relevant emails were supplied?
13. In 2007, criticizing the George W. Bush White House during the controversy over fired U.S. attorneys, you decried the use of “secret White House email accounts” to conduct government business. Please explain how your use of personal email differed.
If I recall correctly, Marcus is a law school graduate. Her questions read like well-framed interrogatories. Tweets will not suffice to answer most of them.
ONE MORE: A reader with extensive service in the government proposes the following question, given that Clinton would routinely have transmitted classified information via email:
How did you and your staff pass classified information via e mail in light of your exclusive use of private/personal accounts?