In a sworn deposition, Lewis A. Lukens, a former State Department official, stated after Mrs. Clinton became Secretary of State, he proposed setting up a desktop computer in her office. It would not have been connected to the department’s system. allowing her to send and receive email on a personal account. Mr. Lukens made this statement in a deposition, which he gave as part of a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal advocacy group.
Curiously, the idea of a desktop computer was abandoned, Mr. Lukens testified. An aide to the secretary told him that Mrs. Clinton was “very comfortable checking her emails on a BlackBerry, but she’s not adept or not used to checking her emails on a desktop.
Officially, Hillary Clinton has used a variety of explanations for her using a private email server while Secretary of State. She has repeatedly called the decision “a mistake,” but the impact of this decision lingers on. Mrs. Clinton has said she didn’t want two phones. Later, she said she didn’t want a government account that might pull in non-work matters. One adviser has suggested she simply didn’t want Republican lawmakers going through her personal emails. Another explanation came out during the deposition: Hillary Clinton is not comfortable using a computer.
On Wednesday, a highly critical report from the State Department’s Inspector General challenged many of the explanations Mrs. Clinton has offered over the past year. The report said Mrs. Clinton had never been authorized to set up a private email server, and her decision to use one had compromised security. The question becomes:
Why did Hillary Clinton decide to use her own server and risk damage to her political career?
Mrs Clinton sounded exasperated as she flipped from, “It was a mistake” to,
“As I’ve said many times, if I could go back, I would do it differently. I know people have concerns about this. I understand that, but I think voters are going to be looking at the full picture of what I have to offer, my life and my service.” (Is she referring to her vote for the Irag war, her weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, and her use of the Clinton Foundation as her personal slush fund?)
Mrs. Clinton said once again that the arrangement had been “allowed,” though the Inspector General’s report said that she had not sought permission and that it would not have been granted because of security concerns. She also said that her use of a nonofficial email address had been “widely known,” though the report said the extent of her use had not been known beyond a small number of officials in her inner circle.
According to the Inspector General’s report, two officials raised concerns as early as 2010 about Mrs. Clinton’s server. They were told the arrangement had been reviewed and approved (though no one has been found who did the approving). The supervisor then told them their job was to support the secretary and “instructed the staff never to speak of the secretary’s personal email system again.”
The F.B.I. still hasn’t yet completed its criminal investigation. We now know rules were broken, but were laws broken? Critics have questioned whether Clinton’s server might have made a tempting target for hackers, especially those working with or for foreign intelligence services. Mrs. Clinton is expected to be interviewed as part of their investigation, but when this will happen is an unknown. Will Hillary Clinton be indicted for criminal behavior?