A State Department investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email account found no widespread effort by her aides or other staffers to mishandle classified information.
The three-year-long investigation by State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security concluded that 38 individuals committed a total of 91 security violations involving emails sent to or from Clinton’s private server.
However, a report on the probe finalized last month seemed to dismiss the notion that the system was routinely used to discuss matters that diplomats or Clinton aides knew required handling through secure channels.
“While there were some instances of classified information being inappropriately introduced into an unclassified system in furtherance of expedience, by and large, the individuals interviewed were aware of security policies and did their best to implement them in their operations,” the report said.
“Instances of classified information being deliberately transmitted via unclassified email were the rare exception and resulted in adjudicated security violations. There was no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.”
An FBI investigation into Clinton’s email use resulted in no charges, although FBI Director James Comey alleged at an unusual news conference in July 2016 that Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
Clinton allies have bitterly complained about Comey’s statement as a breach of Justice Department protocol. A Justice Department inspector general review backed up that view.
The State Department’s internal security review prompted concern among some former Clinton aides and current State officials that it could amount to an effort to alleviate pressure from Clinton critics who were disappointed that no one was prosecuted over the emails. Some also said it could be an attempt to strip the security clearances of former Clinton aides and allies.
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