Hillary Clinton, at the centre of an email controversy, today broke her silence over using her personal mail account while she was serving as the US Secretary of State and sought the release of emails to public.
The controversy over using her personal email account while conducting official businesses escalated, with the White House saying “very specific guidance” were issued for the use of government e-mail accounts to carry out such work.
67-year-old Clinton, who is considered to be the top Democratic party presidential contender in 2016, took to Twitter to break her silence over the row, saying: “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.”
State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said in a statement in the wee hours of today that “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 quickly as possible; given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete,” she said.
The White House appeared to have indicated that Clinton might not have had strictly adhered to the administration’s email policy when she was the top American diplomat for four years in the first term of the Obama Administration.
“She also would have gotten guidance from the White House that was much more specific, I assume, because the guidance that I got when I started at the White House was very specific about the use of official government email when conducting official government business,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
“I can’t speak to the guidance that she may have received when she first started at the State Department, but it may have been different than that. Ultimately the responsibility of individuals who have worked in the federal government is to ensure that they’re preserving those federal records properly and in a way that’s consistent with the Federal Records Act.
“And based on what we have heard from Secretary Clinton’s team, that’s what they have done,” Earnest said.
The Obama Administration is having a tough time in explaining and justifying the use of not only a personal email, but also a private server system kept at her New York residence, by the former Secretary of State.