Hillary Clinton was within her rights to delete non-work-related emails from her personal email account while working as secretary of state, the US justice department says.
Key pointsUS justice department says Hillary Clinton was within her rights to delete non-work-related emails from her personal server while working as secretary of stateA conservative monitoring group wants access to all of Mrs Clinton’s emails while she was the top US diplomatMrs Clinton is scheduled to testify in front of a panel investigating the Benghazi attack on October 22
“There is no question that former secretary Clinton had authority to delete personal emails without agency supervision,” the department wrote in a document filed this week in US District Court in Washington.”She appropriately could have done so even if she were working on a government server.”The court filing came in response to legal action filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative monitoring group that wants access to all of Mrs Clinton’s email while she was the top US diplomat.Mrs Clinton, the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, has been dogged for months by revelations she used a private email account and home server in lieu of the official government email system while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.”Individual officers and employees are permitted and expected to exercise judgment to determine what constitutes a federal record,” the department said.The scandal broke in March, and it was not until September 9 that Mrs Clinton publicly apologised for using her private email server.”That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility,” she said in an interview.”As I look back at it now, even though it was allowed, I should have used two accounts, one for personal emails, one for work-related emails.”Clinton critics call for court to preserve emailsJudicial Watch president Tom Fitton dismissed the justice department’s argument as having “absolutely no merit”.”All we ask is that the court preserves those emails … until the legal issue is resolved,” Mr Fitton said.He said Mrs Clinton “may like to pretend it’s a personal server”.”That’s up for debate. She set up this system to conduct all of her government business and then she just took it without prior review,” he said.”And now the government is saying that she has the [unprecedented] right … to go into this system, and take out what she thinks is personal and leave whatever …Read More