Questions Emerge About Clinton E-mails, Public Records

Clinton Under Fire
Questions are beginning to emerge about former United States Secretary of State, and presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton now that it has been discovered she used a private e-mail account to conduct government business through the Secretary of State’s office. According to the New York Times, Clinton, the wife of former US President Bill Clinton, did not utilize a government e-mail address through her entire four-year tenure as Secretary of State. Furthermore, her aides, who are also being accused of utilizing a private account, did not preserve her e-mails on federal servers, a possible violation of the Federal Records Act. Not only does this action make complying with Freedom of Information Act requests more difficult, but experts say it is particularly dangerous because most private e-mail servers are not as secure against hackers or attack. The breach was discovered as officials within Clinton’s camp began complying with a federal requests to review more documents and e-mails associated with the 2012 attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton spokesman, Nick Merrill, has defended the actions, stating that Clinton was “complying with the letter and spirit of the rules.”

Home-brewed Server
To make matters worse, it was uncovered this week that Clinton’s private e-mail account could be traced back to a server in her own Chappaqua, New York home. Chris Cillizza, writing a blog for The Washington Post , cited a report by the Associated Press that stated, “The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own e-mail would have given Clinton impressive control over limiting access to her message archives.” Furthermore, the man hired to set up this “home-brewed server” in 2010 is listed as one Eric Hoteham. However, according to the Associated Press, “that name does not appear in public records databases, campaign contribution records or Internet background searches.” Thus, for now, the existence of Hoteham remains a mystery.

Foreign Contributions
Clinton, who resigned as Secretary of State in 2013, was already under scrutiny after it was discovered earlier this year that foreign governments had donated millions of dollars to the charitable Clinton Foundation while she was Secretary of State. Officials have stated that donations such as these are an ethics violation. Clinton, who ran for President in 2008, has not yet announced she will run in 2016. However, she is expected to make that announcement soon.