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Clinton Email Trove Reviewed           03/06 06:17

   The government will examine thousands of Hillary Rodham Clinton's emails for 
public release -- and for possible security lapses -- after revelations she 
used a private account to conduct official business as secretary of state, a 
senior State Department official said Thursday.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government will examine thousands of Hillary Rodham 
Clinton's emails for public release --- and for possible security lapses --- 
after revelations she used a private account to conduct official business as 
secretary of state, a senior State Department official said Thursday.

   Clinton's extensive use of private emails has raised questions in the 
buildup to her expected presidential run about whether she adhered to the 
letter or spirit of accountability laws.

   The official said the department would review 55,000 pages of emails amassed 
from Clinton's personal files to determine if there were any instances where 
she improperly transmitted sensitive information. The official was not 
authorized to be quoted on the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

   State Department policy holds that information that is not classified as 
secret but contains sensitive national security or diplomatic information can 
only be conveyed on secure channels except for certain circumstances, the 
official explained.

   Clinton's extensive use of private emails heightened security risks for her 
communications, chiefly the potential for inadvertent disclosure of such 
sensitive information and danger from hackers, several information security 
experts told The Associated Press.

   Secretary of State John Kerry, in Saudi Arabia, said Thursday his department 
"will undertake this task as rapidly as possible in order to make sure that we 
are dealing with the sheer volume in a responsible way."

   Officials said Thursday the review could take months to complete, 
potentially a drawn-out distraction for Clinton and an unnerving development 
for the many Democrats who see her as the party's presidential 
nominee-in-waiting for 2016.

   The review was prompted by the disclosure that Clinton, in a departure from 
predecessors, relied exclusively on the private account for emails about 
government business. The emails were sent from a private computer server using 
an Internet address that traces back to Clinton's family home in Chappaqua, New 

   The department announced the review soon after Clinton addressed the matter 
for the first time, saying on Twitter: "I want the public to see my email. I 
asked State to release them."

   Clinton aides and the State Department both say she never received or 
transmitted classified information on her private email account. But 
unclassified diplomatic details and internal matters are sometimes considered 
sensitive and can be targeted by hackers and foreign governments.

   "She had other ways of communicating through classified email through her 
assistants or her staff," said Marie Harf, speaking for the State Department. 
Officials have said Clinton turned over more than 55,000 pages of emails to the 

   Clinton's use of a private email account for official business appeared to 
contradict instructions from her own office in June 2011 to all State 
Department employees. In a cable from Clinton's office, employees were advised 
to "avoid conducting official Department business from your personal e-mail 
accounts." It cited reports that unspecified "online adversaries" were 
targeting personal email accounts of State Department employees. The cable was 
first obtained by Fox News.

   The State Department told the AP that Clinton's instructions in 2011 only 
applied to emails containing "sensitive but unclassified" information, a 
category that includes personal information about employees or the public, 
business secrets, details of ongoing investigations or records about visa or 
asylum applications. Only one instruction in the cable directly referred to 
rules about such information, an existing ban on anyone auto-forwarding 
government emails to their personal accounts.

   Even though the instructions bore Clinton's name, it was not clear whether 
she wrote them or was aware of them. Virtually every cable leaving the 
department's headquarters in Washington would have had Clinton's name on it 
while she was in town.

   Clinton's private email practices gave her significant control over access 
to her message archives, highly unusual in government. They also could 
complicate the State Department's legal responsibilities in finding and turning 
over official emails in response to any investigations, lawsuits or public 
records requests.

   The matter also raises questions about whether anyone in government examined 
Clinton's private email server and network before it began operating and 
continued to review it regularly during her tenure. Federal regulations subject 
the computer systems of some contractors and other organizations to federal 
oversight when they interact with government systems to ensure they are 

   Under the Freedom of Information Act, the government can censor or withhold 
emails to protect information that would hurt national security, violate 
personal privacy or expose business secrets or confidential decision-making in 
certain areas. It wasn't clear whether the State Department would automatically 
apply those provisions to its review of Clinton's emails, or use its discretion 
to release even emails that might be covered under those exemptions.

   Withholding emails merely because they might be embarrassing or expose 
government incompetence or malfeasance is not permitted under the act's 

   The State Department is already overwhelmed with nearly 11,000 pending 
requests for various emails under the open records law. More than 75 separate 
requests for Clinton material were filed with the State Department between 2009 
and 2013 by media organizations and others. Associated Press requests for 
Clinton emails and other documents have been delayed for more than a year --- 
and in one case, four years --- without any results. The AP said this week it 
is considering legal action to compel responses.

   On Wednesday, the House committee investigating the attacks on the U.S. 
diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, issued subpoenas for emails from 
Clinton. It also instructed technology companies it did not identify to 
preserve any relevant documents in their possession.

   The White House legal counsel's office was not aware of Clinton's private 
email account until the committee sought her communications during an earlier 
exchange with the department, according to a person familiar with the matter. 
That person spoke on condition of anonymity, citing a lack of authorization to 
speak on the record.


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