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article imageHillary Clinton denies wrongdoing in private email scandal

By Caroline Leopold     Jul 15, 2015 in Politics
Hillary Clinton's campaign posted an explainer this week on how Clinton exclusively used a private email account during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Sending a work email from a home account probably isn't newsworthy — unless that person is Hillary Clinton, former State Department head and presidential candidate.
Clinton said she used a private account exclusively during her tenure as Secretary of State and denies any wrongdoing, but questions have not let up. Perhaps in an effort to control the questions, the campaign posted a factsheet about the private email use on Clinton's official website this week.
The explainer meant to offer "just the facts" offers answers 27 questions related to email security and transparency.
The brief contains a mix of official statements, press interviews, and even cites investigative stories about this matter since the story made headlines in March. In effect, the post is a handy collection of what Clinton has ever said about the private email scandal.
Clinton has maintained that using a personal email account was a matter of convenience — as a way to stay in touch with family and friends — given her hectic travel schedule. Clinton has admitted, in hindsight, that using two accounts would have been better.
Clinton sent and received a total of 62,320 emails from March 2009 to February 2013. Of these, about half or 30,490 of these emails were given to the State Department.
Under federal law, letters and emails written and received by federal officials are considered government records and are supposed to be retained for use by congressional committees, historians or the news media.
The remaining 31,830 were private, personal records were deleted — raising questions about who decided which emails would be forwarded to the government.
According to the factsheet, multiple rounds of searches found the work emails. A search of the ".gov" suffix produced around 27,500 emails.
Another 2,900 records were found name searches, sorts and keyword searches.
"[A] number of terms were specifically searched for, including: 'Benghazi' and 'Libya.'"
In May, Clinton turned over more than 30,000 emails by printing them out and the 55,000 pages were delivered in 12 storage boxes.
State Department officials said they have about 300 emails amounting to 850 pages that relate to Clinton's actions around the 2012 attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans.
Questions about security and transparency
Whether Clinton's email could have been intercepted or monitored while using a private server is an open question. Clinton maintains the server was secure. However, Clinton was the target of a highly publicized cyberattack.
Romanian hacker "Guccifer" broke into the AOL account of Sidney Blumenthal, who worked as a top advisor for President Clinton and later on Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2008. The hacker exposed Hillary Clinton's personal email address that she had been using for government business since March 2013.
The hacker, Marcel Lazar Lehel, is serving four years in prison.
Combining the "Guccifer" attack with massive breaches of the federal government this year, security questions cannot be waved away with an assurance.
Government security expert Steven Aftergood told the Daily Beast that while no email system is entirely secure, “[At] least government email receives some measure of dedicated security and counterintelligence attention. The email of the Secretary of State in intrinsically sensitive, even when it is not classified.”
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