As Clinton Defends Email Policy, Department IG Finds Flaws Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email account is raising eyebrows, while a new report says just a tiny fraction of a percent of all emails are being preserved.

As Clinton Defends Email Policy, Department IG Finds Flaws

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A day after Hillary Clinton's explanation of her use of a private email account while secretary of state, a State Department watchdog says only a fraction of the department's emails have been preserved. The Inspector General's report says of the one billion emails sent in 2011, just over 61,000 were saved. Meanwhile, NPR's Brian Naylor says a number of Clinton's assertions during her news conference are raising eyebrows.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: Hillary Clinton admitted her decision to carry one smart phone device rather than two during her tenure as Secretary of State might have been a mistake. Apart from that though, Clinton maintained her conduct regarding her email was by the book. Others aren't so sure. Take this statement.


HILLARY CLINTON: The laws and regulations in effect when I was Secretary of State allowed me to use my email for work. That is undisputed.


NAYLOR: Tom Blanton is director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University in Washington.

BLANTON: The laws and regulations in effect discouraged the use of personal email for official business.

NAYLOR: Blanton says the law in question is the Federal Records Act of 2009. Clinton became Secretary of State earlier that year. The records act did not prohibit use of personal email accounts, he says, but its language is clear.

BLANTON: It says the head of every federal agency - and that's who she was as secretary of state - is responsible for making sure that records of that agency's business are saved in agency records systems.

NAYLOR: Blanton says that does not include a server in Clinton's Chappaqua, N.Y. home. Here's another assertion Clinton made.


CLINTON: For any government employee, it is that government employee's responsibility to determine what's personal and what's work-related.

NAYLOR: Blanton says Clinton did indeed have the right to separate out her personal emails from official records. But he said had those emails been in a government server, it would have been a more transparent process.

BLANTON: If those emails were in the State Department system, that separation of personal or non-record material from the official stuff would be done by a professional records manager or a professional archivist - a civil servant, not an aspiring politician and her lawyers.

NAYLOR: Republicans in Congress agree and have called for Clinton to turn over the servers or allow a third-party to review their contents. Clinton also said she did facilitate backup of her emails.


CLINTON: And it was my practice to communicate with State Department and other government officials on their .gov accounts so those emails would be automatically saved in the State Department system to meet recordkeeping requirements and that indeed is what happened.

NAYLOR: But Blanton says that's really not enough to ensure a complete record of Clinton's official government communications.

BLANTON: Just because she sent it to people at state .gov addresses is not at all a guarantee that it's been preserved. And I understand at the State Department particularly when an official leaves office and most of her direct aids, in fact, have left the State Department, within 90 days, the IT folks at State wipeout their account unless there's a special intervention.

NAYLOR: In fact, the State Department Inspector General's report today says employees have not received adequate training or guidance in preserving official emails - resulting in just a fraction of them being preserved. Blanton says the kerfuffle over Clinton's emails is less a scandal than a wake-up call. Because Clinton and other top government officials have used private email accounts, he says a whole generation of official records has been lost. Brian Naylor, NPR News, Washington.

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