Hillary Clinton has responded to the recent revelations that she exclusively used a personal email account to conduct official business while acting as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013. In a tweet, Clinton made reference to the matter, and said she planned to release her email archives to the public.
I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015
State officials are expected to use official email accounts while in office for purposes of security and transparency, but Clinton was found to have ducked the rules, instead using a personal account run from a private email server to communicate with State Department colleagues, world leaders, and other third parties. Clinton has reportedly already handed over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department, but it's not clear how many more emails remain unseen.
The State Department responded to Clinton's tweet with a statement in which it said the release of the emails could take some time. Before being made public, governmental emails are routinely checked for classified or confidential information that is excised.
"The State Department will review for public release the emails provided by Secretary Clinton to the Department, using a normal process that guides such releases. We will undertake this review as soon as possible; given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete."
Clinton's tweeted promise goes some way to ensure transparency, but it doesn't explain why she decided to avoid using the official governmental email service in the first place. Other state officials have been caught out for using insecure public email services such as Gmail to conduct business, but by setting up a private email server registered to her home address and using it exclusively for four years, Clinton showed more forethought in her rulebreaking than some of her peers.
A Clinton spokesperson said she had followed "letter and spirit of the rules," but policy experts have made it clear that her actions were extraordinary. "I can recall no instance in my time at the National Archives when a high-ranking official at an executive branch agency solely used a personal email account for the transaction of government business," Jason R. Baron, a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration, told The New York Times.
Update 1:00AM ET, March 5th: Added the State Department's reply to Clinton's tweet.