WSJ: Watchdog Faults Hillary Clinton’s Email Practices At State Department

Originally posted at Wall Street Journal by Byron Tau.

Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and months of missing records were violations of State Department policies and practices, the State Department’s independent watchdog said Wednesday in a rebuke of the presidential candidate’s practices as secretary of state.

Inspector General Steve Linick faulted Mrs. Clinton, her predecessors—both Democrats and Republicans—and the department’s management for “long-standing” failures in record-keeping and cybersecurity efforts. He said Mrs. Clinton had an “obligation” to discussed her email setup with the officials responsible for security and information management at the State Department, but found no evidence that she had done so.

The report also found evidence that several hacking attempts were made against her home server, though the inspector general didn’t determine whether they were successful or not.

The report’s findings are a reminder that the issue isn’t likely to fade as the presidential campaign moves toward the November election. More significant hurdles are ahead, particularly the decision by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department about whether to pursue any legal action in connection with the emails.

The report—sent to several congressional committees with oversight over the State Department—makes no recommendation that Mrs. Clinton or any other former secretary of State be investigated or punished. Mrs. Clinton has maintained that her server didn’t put sensitive information at risk, and her campaign stressed Wednesday that the review determined her four immediate predecessors followed similar practices.

In part because of the email controversy, Mrs. Clinton has struggled with voters on issues of honesty and trust. In an April Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, 60% of voters gave the Democratic candidate poor marks on being honest and straightforward, while only 19% give her high ratings on those traits. She is also likely to face an onslaught of attacks from presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has taken to calling her “crooked Hillary.”

Mrs. Clinton has long denied any wrongdoing. “Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email was not unique, and she took steps that went much further than others to appropriately preserve and release her records,” Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said.

Read more at Wall Street Journal.

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