In Her Sworn Response to Questions About Private Emails, Clinton 'Does Not Recall'

By Susan Jones | October 14, 2016 | 6:29am EDT
In response to 25 questions about her improper use of a private email account to conduct government business, Clinton said she "does not recall" 20 times. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - In her sworn responses to 25 questions about her improper use of a private email server, Hillary Clinton 20 times says she "does not recall."

Although she objects to almost every question posed by Judicial Watch as "being outside the scope of permitted discovery," she nevertheless responds to most of them, as a federal judge in Washington ordered her to do under oath. But most of her answers say she "does not recall."

For example, Clinton does not recall whether she thought her email might be subject to FOIA requests; she does not recall being warned about hacking, even though one of the warnings had her name at the bottom; and "she does not recall altering, destroying, disclosing, or using any e-mails related to official State Department business...or instructing anyone else to do so after she left office and before her attorneys reviewed the e-mails...in response to the State Department’s request."

Clinton decided that, "once her work-related and potentially work-related e-mails were provided to the State Department, she had no reason to keep her personal e-mails, which did not relate to official State Department business. She believes that her personal e-mails were not kept, and she does not have any personal knowledge about the details of that process."

“We’re pleased that we now have a little bit more information about Hillary Clinton’s email practices,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton as he released Clinton's responses Wednesday evening. “Our lawyers will be reviewing the responses closely. Mrs. Clinton’s refusal to answer many of the questions in a clear and straightforward manner further reflects disdain for the rule of law," he said.

Clinton tells Judicial Watch she used a personal email account for work-related emails beginning when she was a U.S. senator and continuing when she was secretary of state.

"She does not recall any specific consultations regarding the decision to use the clintonemail.com account for official State Department business."

Clinton "does not recall" anyone ever telling her that her use of a private email account to conduct official business "conflicted with or violated federal recordkeeping laws."

The "does not recall" line keeps coming, as follows:

-- Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall considering factors other than convenience in deciding to use a personal e-mail account to conduct official State Department business.

-- Secretary Clinton does not recall whether she had a specific expectation that the State Department would receive FOIA requests for or concerning her e-mail. She understood that, because her practice was to e-mail State Department staff on their state.gov accounts, her email was being captured in the State Department’s recordkeeping systems.

-- Secretary Clinton does not recall specifically informing the State Department’s records management personnel about her use of her clintonemail.com e-mail account to conduct official State Department business; she did openly communicate via her clintonemail.com account with many people in the State Department. Secretary Clinton does not recall interacting with Clarence Finney or employees of the Executive Secretariat’s Office of Correspondence and Records.

-- Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall State Department personnel asking her for access to her clintonemail.com e-mail account to search for e-mail responsive to a FOIA request during her tenure as Secretary of State.

-- Secretary Clinton did not consider how e-mails she sent to or received from persons who did not have State Department e-mail accounts would be searched by the Department in response to FOIA requests.

Judicial Watch asked Clinton why she continued using her personal email account to conduct official State Department business after agreeing on November 13, 2010 (in an email exchange with Huma Abedin) to “get a separate address or device?”

Her response: "Secretary Clinton recalls that her November 13, 2010 e-mail exchange with Huma Abedin...was triggered by a problem with the State Department’s telephone system. When Secretary Clinton wrote, “This is not a good system,” she was referring to the way in which the State Department would notify her of telephone calls. Secretary Clinton does not recall what precisely she meant by the words “address” or “device.” To the best of her recollection, she meant that she was willing to use a State Department e-mail account or device if it would resolve the problems with receiving telephone calls, so long as her personal e-mails with family and friends would not be accessible to the State Department. Following this e-mail exchange, the State Department changed the way in which it notified Secretary Clinton of telephone calls, resolving the problem that triggered this e-mail.

Secretary Clinton does not recall requesting a State Department-issued Blackberry or a State Department e-mail account in or around August 2011.

Nor does she recall seeing a memo sent by a State Department official warning staff of a "dramatic increase" in attempts to hack the private home email accounts of senior State Department officials.

Judicial Watch noted that on June 28, 2011, Clinton sent a message to all State Department personnel about securing their personal email accounts. "In the message, you noted 'recent targeting of personal email accounts by online adversaries' and directed all personnel to '[a]void conducting official Department business from your personal email accounts.' Why did you continue using your clintonemail.com email account to conduct official State Department business after June 28, 2011, when you were advising all State Department Personnel to avoid doing so?"

Her response:

The message in question "mischaracterizes Secretary Clinton as the sender and author of the June 28, 2011 cable..." She said all cables originating from headquarters "ended with the name 'CLINTON.' The presence of Secretary Clinton’s name at the end of the cable was a formality, and it did not mean that she sent, authored, or reviewed the cable...Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall seeing the June 28, 2011 cable..."

Neither does Secretary Clinton recall being advised, cautioned, or warned during her tenure as Secretary of State about hacking or attempted hacking of her clintonemail.com e-mail account or the server that hosted her clintonemail.com account.

-- Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall considering whether to allow the State Department access to her clintonemail.com e-mail account when she was preparing to leave office...Secretary Clinton does not recall anyone from the State Department asking her for access to her clintonemail.com e-mail account or asking her to print her work-related e-mails when she was preparing to leave office.

-- Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall considering after she left office whether she could alter, destroy, disclose, or use emails concerning official State Department business.

-- Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall altering, destroying, disclosing, or using any e-mails related to official State Department business from her tenure as Secretary of State in her clintonemail.com account or instructing anyone else to do so after she left office and before her attorneys reviewed the e-mails in her clintonemail.com email account in response to the State Department’s request.

-- Secretary Clinton states that it was her expectation that all of her work-related and potentially work-related e-mail then in her custody would be provided to the State Department in response to its request. Secretary Clinton believes that her attorneys retained copies of the e-mails provided to the State Department in December 2014, but she does not have any personal knowledge about the details of that process. Secretary Clinton decided that, once her work-related and potentially work-related e-mails were provided to the State Department, she had no reason to keep her personal e-mails, which did not relate to official State Department business. She believes that her personal e-mails were not kept, and she does not have any personal knowledge about the details of that process.

-- Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall having communications with Bryan Pagliano concerning or relating to the management, preservation, deletion, or destruction of any e-mails in her clintonemail.com email account.

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