“At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department issues before leaving government service,” says an audit by the State Department Inspector General, obtained by NBC News.
“Because she did not do so, she did not comply with the [State] Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”
The audit found that the non-compliance over personal email went beyond Clinton, and that former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican, also failed to preserve government-related emails when he was secretary of state.
The State Department asked Powell to try to receive relevant emails from his internet provider, but “as of May 2016 the Department has not received a response” from Powell, the audit said.
Indeed, the report’s conclusion cites “longstanding, systemic weaknesses” in electronic record-keeping “that go well beyond the tenure of any one secretary of state.”
But the findings on Clinton are sure to reverberate through the 2016 presidential campaign, as her spokesman, Brian Fallon, noted in a statement.
“While political opponents of Hillary Clinton are sure to misrepresent this report for their own partisan purposes, in reality, the Inspector General documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other Secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email,” Fallon said. READ MORE OF THIS STORY