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Hillary Clinton under scrutiny at Department of Justice for use of private email

Hillary Clinton under scrutiny at Department of Justice for use of private email


Inspectors general say personal account contained 'hundreds of potentially classified emails'

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Two government inspectors have asked the Department of Justice to examine whether whether Hillary Clinton misused sensitive information on the private email account she used during her tenure as secretary of state, Reuters reports. The referral was filed by two inspectors general, though the Justice Department has not decided whether it will launch an investigation. The latest characterization of the DOJ's action disputes a New York Times report from earlier today that said the inspectors had requested a criminal investigation.

The referral comes amid an ongoing State Department review of Clinton's private email account, which she used for government business during her four years as secretary of state under the Obama administration. Clinton has said that she used the account (and the private server that hosted it) as "a matter of convenience," though it also exempted her from some federal transparency obligations. Revelations about the account have raised concerns over the transparency and security of Clinton's correspondence, sparking controversy as her 2016 presidential campaign kicks into gear.

"Hundreds of potentially classified emails."

Clinton has maintained that the account contained no classified information, though in a June 29th memo obtained by the Times, inspectors general for the State Department and intelligence agencies said the account included "hundreds of potentially classified emails." The State Department is currently reviewing 55,000 pages of Clinton's emails, after having released the first 3,000 pages to the public on June 30th. It's yet not clear whether any of the sensitive information was classified at the time, though officials have determined that some of the emails should be retroactively classified. In a June 17th memo, also obtained by the Times, the inspectors general wrote that at least one of the emails made public contained classified information.

The memo also criticizes the State Department for the way it handled sensitive information on Clinton's account, noting that it did not consult with intelligence agencies to determine which emails should be classified. A federal judge this week raised concerns over the State Department's failure to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests from the Associated Press, saying that it "has been, to say the least, recalcitrant in responding."

Update, 2:52PM: This article has been updated to include a report from Reuters, which discredits a report from The New York Times. The Times erroneously reported that government inspectors had requested a criminal investigation into Clinton's email practices.