March 11, 2015: A State Department inspector general report is released which refutes Clinton’s assertion made one day before.

Tom Blanton (Credit: NSA Archives / George Washington University)

Tom Blanton (Credit: NSA Archives / George Washington University)

On March 10, 2015, Clinton claimed that her decision to use a private email account “for convenience” didn’t interfere with the State Department’s ability to retrieve those emails later. But a March 11, 2015 inspector general report highlights how poorly the department has permanently archived emails. 

For instance, in 2011, only 61,156 department emails out of a billion were formally archived, a rate of far less than one percent. In 2013, the number—41,749—was even lower.

The report suggests that most employees “who did not use record emails as intended [said] they were usually unaware of what types of information should be saved as record emails. The department does not give employees adequate training to distinguish between information that should be preserved as records and information that may be discarded.” Furthermore, “Many interviewees expressed a fear that if participants in a debate knew that their opinions would be permanently recorded or accessible in searches, they would not express their opinions in an uninhibited manner.” (Politico, 3/11/2015)

Tom Blanton, director of the government’s National Security Archive, comments, “Just because [Clinton] sent to people at ‘state.gov’ addresses, it’s not at all a guarantee that it’s been preserved.” Additionally, “When an official leaves office, and most of her direct aides in fact have left the State Department, within 90 days the IT [information technology] folks at State wipe out their accounts unless there’s a special intervention.” (National Public Radio, 3/11/2015)

March 11, 2015: The Associated Press sues the State Department to force the release of Clinton’s documents that the department has failed to turn over.

The Associated Press made various Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests long before the Clinton email scandal became publicly known. In some cases, the requests were made five years earlier, as far back as May 2010, and still hadn’t been fulfilled. The requests don’t involve emails but are mostly for Clinton’s calendars and schedules. (The Associated Press, 3/11/2015) (The Associated Press, 8/7/2015) (The New York Times, 3/3/2015)

The Associated Press will finally get some of the documents in July 2016.  (The Associated Press, 6/24/2016)

March 11, 2015: Senator Rand Paul criticizes comments Clinton made about her email scandal.

Senator Rand Paul (Credit: Lexington Herald Leader)

Senator Rand Paul (Credit: Lexington Herald Leader)

Paul (R) says, “She says she didn’t transfer classified information; her schedule is classified. Like if you want to know when she goes to yoga, that’s really benign, but what if you’re a terrorist? That would be an important item to know… So when her schedule is transferred via email, it should go through a secure device. When she says, ‘Oh, I for convenience sake I didn’t want to use two phones,’ well one, someone should inform her you can put two email apps on one phone. But the other thing is that her convenience shouldn’t trump national security. If she’s having a conversation with the president via email, which she admits that she did, do you think if you wanted to read it, if you did a Freedom of Information Act, do you think they’ll give it to you? They’ll say it’s classified. Yet she’s saying ‘I didn’t do anything classified.’” (The Today Show, 3/11/2015) 

Paul will run for president later in 2015, but will drop out early.