February 1, 2008: Clinton’s private email domain is set up under a false name.

Another view of the Clinton family home in Chappaqua, New York. (Credit: Susan Farley / Getty Images)

A view of the Clinton family home in Chappaqua, New York. (Credit: Susan Farley / Getty Images)

An IP address associated with the clintonemail.com domain later used by Hillary Clinton is registered to “Eric Hoteham” on this date. The IP address for clintonemail.com, along with others registered in Hoteham’s name, is connected to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s home address in Chappaqua, New York. ABC News will later call Hoteham a “mystery man,” since no one with that name is known to exist.

He may or may not be the same as the similarly named Eric Hothem who worked for Bill Clinton when he was president, was an aide for Hillary Clinton in the early 2000s, and has worked for Citicorp and then JP Morgan since. That person has refused to comment on the matter. (ABC News, 3/5/2015) (ABC News, 3/6/2015)

April 15, 2008: Clinton promises transparency.


Clinton closes a cell phone before handing it back to her aide Huma Abedin in 2008. (Credit: Politico)

During Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign, Clinton says that if she is elected, “we will adopt a presumption of openness and [fulfilling] Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] requests and urge agencies to release information quickly.” (The Federation of American Scientists, 4/15/2008)

But the Washington Post will later report that within days of Clinton becoming the secretary of state in early 2009, “Clinton’s senior advisers were already taking steps that would help her circumvent those high-flown words.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

After June 7, 2008: Clinton’s computer technician starts managing Clinton’s private server.

Carrie Pagliano, wife (left), Bill Clinton (center), and Bryan Pagliano (right). (Credit: Facebook)

Carrie Pagliano, wife (left), Bill Clinton (center), and Bryan Pagliano (right). (Credit: Facebook)

At some unknown point after Clinton ends her presidential campaign on June 7, 2008, Bryan Pagliano is tasked as the lead specialist to take care of the new private email server in Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York, house. He will keep the job until mid-2013. Pagliano worked as the IT (information technology) director for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

He is paid by Clinton’s Senate leadership PAC (political action committee) through April 2009, then starts working for the State Department a month later. (The Washington Post, 8/4/2015)

2009: Top White House staff gradually become aware that Clinton is using a private email address, but don’t do anything about it.

David Axelrod (Credit: Michael Kovac / Wire)

David Axelrod (Credit: Michael Kovac / Wire)

For instance, in June 2009, top Obama strategist David Axelrod corresponds with Clinton at her private email address. On September 5, 2009, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel asks Clinton aide Huma Abedin for Clinton’s email address and is given it.

President Obama also occasionally emails Clinton. However, Obama will later claim that he was unaware Clinton was using a private server, and no evidence has yet emerged that anyone else in the White House knew about the server. (The Associated Press, 6/30/2015)

Early 2009: Clinton associates use her private server for other private email addresses.

Bill Clinton (left), Hillary Clinton (center), and Chelsea Clinton (right) at a Clinton Foundation event in 2014. (Credit: Barbara McKinney)

Bill Clinton (left), Hillary Clinton (center), and Chelsea Clinton (right) at a Clinton Foundation event in 2014. (Credit: Barbara McKinney)

A few other Clinton associates also get email accounts through Hillary Clinton’s clintonemail.com private server, though the exact total is unknown. Other associates use other private email accounts for government work.

  • Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea Clinton has an account under the pseudonym “Diane Reynolds,” to help her travel incognito. (Politico, 3/5/2015)
  • Deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, whom the New York Times has called a “surrogate daughter” for Hillary, uses a huma@clintonemail.com address. (Bloomberg News, 3/6/2015)
  • Hillary’s husband Bill Clinton does not have an email address, even though the server is in the house he lives in. According to a 2015 account, Bill Clinton has almost never used email. (Bloomberg News, 3/11/2015)—however, another 2015 news article will say that’s almost certainly untrue. (The Atlantic, 3/12/2015)
  • Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills does not have an account on the server, but uses cherylmills@gmail.com, a private email account through Google. (Judicial Watch, 9/14/2015)
  • Philippe Reines, Clinton’s senior advisor and press secretary, has two email accounts, and uses both for work. He has a government account and a private Gmail account (preines@gmail.com). (Politico, 10/5/2015)

2009: A new corporate consulting firm is closely tied to the Clinton Foundation, presenting new conflict of interest issues.

Douglas Band (Credit: C. Patrick McMullan / Newscom)

Douglas Band (Credit: C. Patrick McMullan / Newscom)

Douglas Band starts a lucrative corporate consulting firm named Teneo. Band is a longtime personal assistant to Bill Clinton, as well as his “surrogate son,” and a top leader of the Clinton Foundation. Bill Clinton joins Teneo as a paid adviser. The New York Times will later report that no outside business has “drawn more scrutiny in Clinton circles than Teneo. […] Aspiring to merge corporate consulting, public relations and merchant banking in a single business, Mr. Band poached executives from Wall Street, recruited other Clinton aides to join as employees or advisers, and set up shop in a Midtown [Manhattan] office formerly belonging to one of the country’s top hedge funds.” The firm recruits clients who are also Clinton Foundation donors, and encourages other clients to donate to the foundation. Teneo’s marketing materials highlight its links to Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. The Times will later report, “Some Clinton aides and foundation employees began to wonder where the foundation ended and Teneo began.”

Bill Clinton will end his paid role in March 2012 after a controversy over one of Teneo’s clients that allegedly upset Hillary Clinton. Band will leave his paid position with the foundation in late 2010, but he will continue to have a key role in the Clinton Global Initiative, one of the foundation’s major projects. (The New York Times, 8/13/2013)

Band will finally resign from all his remaining Clinton Foundation positions in May 2015, around the time a book called Clinton, Inc. comes out that is critical of links between Teneo and the Clinton Foundation, and also just weeks before Hillary Clinton will begin her second presidential campaign. (The New York Post, 6/21/2015)

January 13, 2009: A Clinton aide registers the email domain that Clinton will use for her private server while Secretary of State.

Justin Cooper (Credit: Pave.com)

Justin Cooper (Credit: Pave.com)

Just prior to Hillary Clinton’s Senate confirmation hearing for secretary of state, Justin Cooper registers three email domains for Hillary Clinton at her Chappaqua, New York, address. One domain, clintonemail.com, will be used for all of Clinton’s emails for at least the next five years. (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015) (The New York Times, 8/8/2015)

Cooper is a long-time personal assistant to Bill Clinton. However, he has “no security clearance and no particular expertise in safeguarding computers, according to three people briefed on the server setup.” (The Washington Post, 8/4/2015)

January 21, 2009—March 29, 2009: During this two-month time period, Clinton’s private email server operates without the standard encryption generally used on the Internet.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai visits with Clinton in her outer office at the State Department on January 10, 2013. (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai visits with Clinton in her outer office at the State Department on January 10, 2013. (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

During this time, Clinton and her aides exchange emails discussing “North Korea, Mexico, Afghanistan, military advisers, CIA operations and a briefing for Obama.” Some of the emails will later be redacted, including one written to Clinton about Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.

In late March, top aide Jake Sullivan emails Clinton a draft of a confidential report she is to make to President Obama. “Attached is a draft of your Mexico trip report to [Obama],” the email states. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

During these two months, Clinton travels to Belgium, Switzerland, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and China. Her emails would have almost no defense against eavesdropping by foreign intelligence and hackers during all those trips.

Furthermore, some intelligence agencies are known to attempt eavesdropping around this time. For instance, at a world leader summit in April 2009, British intelligence sets up fake Internet in the hope that government ministers and their staff will use them so their communications can be intercepted. (ComputerWorld, 3/11/2015)

A September 2016 FBI report will determine that “Clinton’s clintonemail.com email traffic was potentially vulnerable to compromise when she first began using her personal account in January 2009. It was not until late March 2009… that access to the server was afforded an added layer of security.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

January 21, 2009—February 1, 2013: Four of Clinton’s top aides frequently use personal email accounts for work matters and then fail to properly archive them.

After Clinton’s email scandal becomes public in March 2015, The State Department will request all work-related emails from four of Clinton’s top aides: Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines. The emails will be turned over between June and August 2015.

Top left: Cheryl Mills, Top Right: Huma Abedin, Lower left: Jake Sullivan, Lower right: Philippe Reines

Top left: Cheryl Mills, Top Right: Huma Abedin, Lower left: Jake Sullivan, Lower right: Philippe Reines

A department analysis will determine that all four aides frequently used personal email accounts for work matters, although they had government email accounts and sometimes used those as well. The combined work-related personal emails from the four of them will total nearly 72,000 printed pages. One of the four sends and receives 9,585 work emails using a personal account while Clinton is secretary of state, though it isn’t clear which one. That person averages nine work emails from that account per work day.

In May 2016, the department’s inspector general will conclude that, just like Clinton, “these [four aides] failed to comply with department policies… because none of these emails were preserved in department recordkeeping systems prior to [being handed over] in 2015.” (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)

January 24, 2009: Clinton passes on using a secure computer to check her private email account at her office desk.

President Obama uses a BlackBerry while traveling in Indonesia in 2010. (Credit: Pete Souza / The White House)

President Obama uses a BlackBerry while traveling in Indonesia in 2010. (Credit: Pete Souza / The White House)

By this time, the National Security Agency (NSA) arranges for President Obama to use a secure, encrypted BlackBerry, allowing him to use it anywhere. Clinton and her top aides want Clinton to have one too.

On this day, Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, asks in a group email, “[H]ow can we get her one?”

Lewis Lukens, Clinton’s logistics chief, responds the same day that he could help set up “a stand-alone PC [personal computer] in the Secretary’s office, connected to the Internet (but not through our system) to enable her to check her emails from her desk.”

Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy replies that that is “a great idea.”

But apparently, Clinton insists on using her BlackBerry at all times and never a desktop computer, so no such computer is ever set up. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

February 13, 2009: It appears the NSA will be able to give Clinton a secure BlackBerry, but this doesn’t happen.

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, in Fort Meade, Maryland. (Credit: public domain)

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, in Fort Meade, Maryland. (Credit: public domain)

Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills writes in an email to Clinton that a National Security Agency (NSA) official “indicated they could address our BB [BlackBerry] so that BB could work in” secure spaces, “based upon some modifications that could be done.”

Clinton writes back, “That’s good news.”

Eventually, the NSA will decide that creating special BlackBerry modification would be too problematic, so Clinton and her aides will continue to use their unsecure BlackBerrys.

In December 2014, Clinton will turn over more than 30,000 emails, claiming those were all her work-related emails and she deleted the rest. These work-related emails will not be included in those. Instead, the State Department will give them to Judicial Watch in 2016 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. Clinton will later inaccurately claim that she didn’t start using her private email account until March, 18, 2009. (The Hill, 3/24/2016) (Judicial Watch, 3/24/2016) (Judicial Watch, 3/17/2016)

October 17, 2009—October, 18, 2009: Cheryl Mills sends classified information to a Bill Clinton aide who may not have a security clearance.

Jon Davidson (Credit: public domain)

Jon Davidson (Credit: public domain)

On October 17, 2009, Clinton sends an email to her chief of staff Cheryl Mills and Jon Davidson, Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. The subject heading is “Haiti,” and the full text is: “I’ve heard that both the PM [prime minister] and the finance minister will resign next week. I’m copying Jon so he can tell Bill.” (US Department of State, 6/30/2015)

The next day, Mills forwards a message from Kenneth Merten, the State Department’s special coordinator for Haiti, to Clinton and Davidson. The subject heading is “PML,” but most of the several lines of text will later be redacted except for the comment, “I’ll have more (most likely) tomorrow.” The redaction codes will indicate the message contains “foreign government information” and “foreign relations or foreign activities of the US, including confidential sources.” (US Department of State, 7/31/2015)

Haiti’s prime minister, Michèle Pierre-Louis, will be voted out of office on November 11, 2009. Davidson is not a government employee at the time and it is unknown if he has a security clearance.

Around January 12, 2010: Clinton and her aides allegedly demonstrate lax communication security while in Hawaii.

Clinton speaks on her Blackberry in the lobby of a Honolulu hotel on January 13, 2010. (Credit: Mandel NGAN / Agence France Presse / Getty Images)

Clinton speaks on her Blackberry in the lobby of a Honolulu hotel on January 13, 2010. (Credit: Mandel NGAN / Agence France Presse / Getty Images)

Bill Johnson, the State Department’s political adviser to the special operations section of the US Pacific Command (PACOM), will later claim that he is present in Honolulu, Hawaii, while Clinton comes to visit. During her trip, news breaks of a large earthquake in Haiti, which takes place on January 12, 2010.

Clinton goes to a security communications facility in the basement of PACOM headquarters to help organize a humanitarian response to the earthquake. She wants to communicate with her top staff back at State Department headquarters in Washington, DC, but she and her aides are not allowed to bring their cell phones into PACOM headquarters because they are using unsecured, personal devices. They ask Johnson for an exception to the rules, but he refuses, citing alarms and lockdowns that would be automatically triggered if anyone brought an unauthorized signal-emitting unit into the building.

So instead, according to Johnson, “She had her aides go out, retrieve their phones, and call [State Department headquarters] from outside,” using open, unsecure lines. “It was really an eye-opener to watch them stand outside using nonsecure comms [communications] and then bring messages to the secretary so she could then conduct a secure [call] with the military” and the State Department. (Newsweek, 5/25/2016)

February 27, 2010: An emails shows that Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin are aware of Clinton’s private server, and a Bill Clinton aide has an email account on it.

Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin sends an email to Justin Cooper, an aide to Bill Clinton. She forwards a message from Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills to Clinton that had bounced, and asks Cooper, “HRC [Clinton] email coming back—is server okay?”

He replies, “UR [You are] funny. We are on the same server.” His reply goes to Mills as well as Abedin, indicating that both of them are aware of the existence of Clinton’s private server.

Cooper’s email domain will be redacted when this email is released in 2016, but his comment indicates his email is on the clintonemail.com domain, the same as Clinton’s. (Abedin has an email account on that domain too, but she sends this email from her State Department state.gov account.) (US Department of State, 6/20/2016) 

Cooper is not a government employee and apparently has no security clearance, but other reports indicate he helps Bryan Pagliano manage Clinton’s server.

February 27, 2010: An email sent to Clinton this day indicates that some computer technicians in the State Department have no idea Clinton has a private email address.

Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, writes Clinton that after another aide named Judith wrote Clinton an email, “It bounced back. She called the email help desk at state (I guess assuming u had state email) and told them that. They had no idea it was YOU, just some random address so they emailed.” (US Department of State, 8/31/2015)

July 24, 2010: Clinton may start accessing the Internet at her Washington home using an unsecure, typical Wi-Fi connection.

Philippe Reines (Credit: Washington Post)

Philippe Reines (Credit: Washington Post)

Clinton and Philippe Reines have an email chain about Clinton’s new iPad. Reines is Clinton’s press secretary and a senior advisor. It is a Saturday and apparently Clinton is at her home in Washington, DC, and trying to get her new iPad to work. She cannot connect to the Internet with it, so she asks Reines, “I don’t know if I have wi-fi. How do I find out?” (Wi-Fi technology allows one to connect to the Internet using a wireless local area network.)

Reines responds, “Let me talk to Justin & Huma to check out the situation, and if there is wi-fi I’m happy to swing by and set it up.” “Justin” is a likely reference to Clinton aide Justin Cooper, who registered Clinton’s private server in her Chappaqua, New York, house, and “Huma” is a likely reference to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. (US Department of State, 11/30/2015) 

It is not known what happens, but it appears Reines is prepared to enable Clinton to regularly use her iPad at her home using a typical Wi-Fi network, without any extra security measures. Clinton begins using her iPad for her emails the next day, while continuing to use her BlackBerry. (US Department of State, 8/31/2015)

September 12, 2010: An email forwarded to Clinton apparently reveals the names and emails of four secret CIA officials.

Judith McHale (Credit: public domain)

Judith McHale (Credit: public domain)

State Department official Mary Sanderson emails over a dozen other officials some analysis about Turkey from the department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). State Department official Judith McHale forwards the email to Clinton and a couple of her aides. Nothing in the analysis will later be deemed classified, but it appears four other recipients of Sanderson’s email are secret CIA officials. (US Department of State, 9/12/2010)

April and May 2011: Clinton and her top aides are warned again to minimize the use of personal emails for business due to hacker attacks.

In March 2011, State Department security officials warned Clinton and other senior officials that there was a “dramatic increase” in hacker attacks specifically targeting senior US officials. It concluded, “We urge department users to minimize the use of personal web email for business.”

This is followed by a cybersecurity briefing in April 2011 and then another one in May. Clinton’s immediate staff and other top officials attend the briefings, but it is not clear if Clinton herself does. However, after Clinton ends her term in 2013, a copy of a classified presentation used during one of the briefings will be found in her papers. It contains warnings similar to the March 2011 warning. (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)

June 3, 2011—June 4, 2011: State Department computer problems cause more officials to use private email accounts.

Anne-Marie Slaughter (Credit: public domain)

Anne-Marie Slaughter (Credit: public domain)

On June 3, 2011, recently retired State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter sends an email to Clinton and some of her top aides lamenting that the State Department’s technology is “so antiquated that NO ONE uses a State-issued laptop and even high officials routinely end up using their home email accounts to be able to get their work done quickly and effectively.” She says more funds are needed and that an opinion piece might make the point to legislators.

Clinton replies that the idea “make good sense.”

However, one day later, Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills disagrees in another email: “As someone who attempted to be hacked (yes I was one), I am not sure we want to telegraph how much folks do or don’t do off state mail [because] it may encourage others who are out there.”

Slaughter concurs with Mills, and points out that Clinton aide Jake Sullivan “also has concerns.” Instead, she suggests, “Perhaps a better approach is to make the point more quietly to legislators through [Clinton].”

It is unknown if that ever occurs. The discussion never mentions Clinton’s own use of a private email account and private server. (CBS News, 9/30/2015)  (US Department of State, 9/30/2015)

Clinton will be asked about this in a July 2016 FBI interview. She will say that doesn’t recall the compromise of Gmail accounts, but she does recall the frustration over the department’s information technology systems. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

June 9, 2011: Clinton forwards a Blumenthal email to an aide instead of flagging it for containing obviously classified information.

Sid Blumenthal's email discusses renegade generals Peter Gadet (left) and George Athor (right), who devised a plan to secure control of the Abyei oil reserves in South Sudan in 2011. (Credit: The Sudan Tribune)

Sid Blumenthal’s email discusses renegade generals Peter Gadet (left) and George Athor (right), who devised a plan to secure control of the Abyei oil reserves in South Sudan in 2011. (Credit: The Sudan Tribune)

Sid Blumenthal’s email sent a day earlier appears to contain very recent classified information, including details of a secret meeting of rebellious Sudanese generals that took place just one day earlier. Although Blumenthal is a private citizen, he marked the top of the email “CONFIDENTIAL” and mentioned getting intelligence from a “particularly sensitive source” in Sudan who is speaking in “strict confidence.”

Instead of flagging the email as containing possibly classified information, Clinton merely forwards it to her aide Jake Sullivan with the comment “fyi”—meaning “for your information.” (US Department of State, 1/7/2016) (The New York Observer, 3/18/2016)

July 2011—August 17, 2011: A prominent political donor is appointed to a security panel by one of Clinton’s top aides, but soon resigns.

Rajiv Fernando (Credit: Chopper Trading)

Rajiv Fernando (Credit: Chopper Trading)

In July 2011, Rajiv Fernando is appointed to the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), a panel filled with high-level foreign policy advisers and security experts. Fernando is granted “top secret” security clearance and given access to highly sensitive information in order to participate on the panel.

Fernando has no relevant experience for the panel but is a prominent donor to Democratic political campaigns, including Clinton’s 2008 campaign, to which he gave large amounts as a “bundler.” He also gave between $1 and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.

ABC News later comments that Fernando, a “Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries, and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.”

On August 15, 2011, ABC News asks the State Department about Fernando’s apparent lack of qualifications for the panel. Fernando resigns two days later.

In 2016, some State Department emails will be publicly released about the matter. Department official Jamie Mannina writes in an August 15, 2011 email: “it appears there is much more to this story that we’re unaware of. […] [I]t’s natural to ask how he got onto the board when compared to the rest of the esteemed list of members. […] We must protect the secretary’s [meaning Clinton] and under secretary’s name, as well as the integrity of the [panel]. I think it’s important to get down to the bottom of this before there’s any response.”

Official Wade Boese replies that same day, “The true answer is that S staff (Cheryl Mills) added him. The board’s membership preceded me. Raj [Fernando] was not on the list sent to S; he was added at their insistence.” “S” refers to Secretary Clinton.

Clinton’s aides will later claim that Fernando’s appointment to the panel was not connected to his political donations. However, an unnamed former administration official familiar with the selection will say that department officials were probably “embarrassed” by the attention and the potential conflict of interest. (CNN, 6/11/2016) (ABC News, 6/10/2016)

August 30, 2011: An attempt to give Clinton a government-approved BlackBerry fails, revealing that some of her top aides know she is using a private server.

Stephen Mull (Credit: The Wall Street Journal)

Stephen Mull (Credit: The Wall Street Journal)

Clinton’s private BlackBerry temporarily stops working, due to disruptions in the New York area following Hurricane Irene. Stephen Mull, the State Department’s executive secretary, emails Clinton’s top aides Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Patrick Kennedy about getting a government-issued BlackBerry linked to a government server for Clinton.

Mull writes, “We are working to provide the Secretary per her request a Department issued BlackBerry to replace personal unit, which is malfunctioning (possibly because of her personal email server is down.) We will prepare two versions for her to use – one with an operating State Department email account (which would mask her identity, but which would also be subject to FOIA requests), and another which would just have phone and Internet capability.”

Abedin responds, “Steve – let’s discuss the state BlackBerry. doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

It’s not clear why Abedin doesn’t like the idea, and Clinton will continue to use her private BlackBerry. But Mull’s mention of Clinton’s “personal email server” is proof that Mull, Abedin, Mills, and Kennedy had to be aware at least due to this email that Clinton in fact had a private email server, and yet they do nothing about it.

In February 2016, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan will cite that email when he says in court that it’s a legitimate question if some officials were helping Clinton to keep all of her emails out of reach of public records requests. He will comment, “We’re talking about a Cabinet-level official who was accommodated by the government for reasons unknown to the public. And I think that’s a fair statement: For reasons heretofore unknown to the public. And all the public can do is speculate. […] This is all about the public’s right to know.” (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016)

December 29, 2011: Two more Bill Clinton aides may have access to the Clinton private server, despite probably lacking the proper security clearances.

Bernadette Meehan (Credit: public domain)

Bernadette Meehan (Credit: public domain)

Bernadette Meehan, a special assistant to Clinton, sends an email to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and a few others. Apparently, Clinton is spending Christmas vacation at a resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, as she does every year, and she is having trouble getting an Internet connection for her BlackBerry.

Abedin emails Justin Cooper, an aide to Bill Clinton, about this. She asks, “Are we having problem with clintonemail?”

Cooper says there are “No issues on our end.” But he apparently is not at the Chappaqua, New York, house were the server is, because he adds that he is CCing Oscar Flores and Jon Davidson “who are there to see if they are having trouble.” (US Department of State, 6/20/2016) (The Associated Press, 4/13/2015)

This is further evidence that Cooper, who is not a government employee and apparently has no security clearance, is helping to manage Clinton’s private server. Flores is Bill Clinton’s personal valet and is said to spend a lot of time with him at the Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York, house. (Politico, 9/24/2010) Davidson is Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. (New York Magazine, 4/14/2015

This raises the possibility that two more people without proper authorization had access to all of Clinton’s emails on her server.

September 23, 2012: An email chain involving Clinton includes the name and email address of a secret CIA official.

Victoria Nuland (Credit: Voice of America)

Victoria Nuland (Credit: Voice of America)

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland starts an email chain about an imminent New York Times article written by Eric Schmitt that could mention a particular CIA annex. The email is sent to a handful of Clinton’s top aides.

Soon, a secret CIA official joins in the email chain, despite not being sent the original email.

A later email in the chain from this CIA official (or possibly another one) reveals the New York Times backs down and agrees to changes to the article, including not mentioning details about the CIA annex.

Parts of Clinton’s email will later be deemed classified due to the mention of at least one secret CIA official’s name and email address earlier in the chain. (US Department of State, 12/31/2015) 

That evening, The New York Times publishes an article written by Eric Schmitt and two others called, “Deadly Attack in Libya Was Major Blow to CIA Efforts.” (The New York Times, 9/23/2012)

October 30, 2012: Pagliano wants State Department help for Clinton’s private server, but doesn’t get it.

IDL TIFF fileImage of Hurricane Sandy at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 28, 2012. (Credit: Earth Observatory / NASA)

IDL TIFF fileImage of Hurricane Sandy at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 28, 2012. (Credit: Earth Observatory / NASA)

Starting around October 28, 2012, Hurricane Sandy disrupts power in the New York City area for a few days, including the Chappaqua, New York, area where Clinton’s private email server is located. On October 30, an email exchange between Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and another Clinton aide discusses that Clinton’s private server is down. Abedin’s main email account is hosted on the server.

Clinton’s computer technician Bryan Pagliano meets with staff from the department’s Information Resources Management (IRM) to find out if the department could provide support for Clinton’s server. Staffers tell Pagliano they can’t help because it is a private server.

This appears to be a very rare instance in which the existence of the server is mentioned to other department employees. (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)

February 2013: Clinton’s computer technician Bryan Pagliano concludes his full-time employment at the State Department.

Gartner Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. (Credit: public domain)

Gartner Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. (Credit: public domain)

Like many other Clinton aides, Pagliano leaves the department the same month Clinton ends her term as secretary of state. Pagliano was secretly being paid for managing Clinton’s private server since May 2009. He remains a State Department contractor doing work on “mobile and remote computing functions.” (The Washington Post, 9/5/2015) 

Pagliano also starts working for Gartner, a global IT [information technology] company, though it’s unclear how much he works for Gartner and how much for the State Department.

He will lose his State Department contractor status some time after September 2015, when he pleads the Fifth Amendment before a Congressional committee. (The Daily Caller, 3/3/2016)

February 1, 2013: Clinton’s four year tenure as secretary of state ends.

Clinton exiting an airplane in her last week as secretary of state. (Credit: The New Yorker)

Clinton exiting an airplane in her last week as secretary of state. (Credit: The New Yorker)

(The Washington Post, 3/10/2015) Clinton is succeeded by Senator John Kerry (D). Kerry apparently uses a government email account for all work matters, and all his emails are automatically preserved by the State Department for posterity. (The New York Times, 3/2/2015) 

Most of her top aides leave the State Department around the same time, such as Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines, while Patrick Kennedy remains. (The New York Times, 8/13/2013)

August 13, 2013: Hillary Clinton has based herself and her aides at the Clinton Foundation while she prepares to run for president again.

Clinton speaking at a press conference in December 2014. (Credit: Politico)

Clinton speaking at a press conference in December 2014. (Credit: Politico)

It is reported that with Clinton’s term as secretary of state having ended in February 2013, she is centering her activity in the Clinton Foundation. She had been a non-paid member of the foundation’s board of directors before becoming secretary of state, and she returns to the board. Many of her closest aides left the State Department at the same time she did and continue to work for her in a private capacity, such as Huma Abedin, Maura Pally, and Dennis Cheng.

Clinton and her staff are relocating to the foundation’s headquarters in New York City. The New York Times reports: “In the coming months, as Mrs. Clinton mulls a 2016 presidential bid, the foundation could also serve as a base for her to home in on issues and to build up a stable of trusted staff members who could form the core of a political campaign.” (The New York Times, 8/13/2013)

August 2014: Senior State Department officials hold face-to-face negotiations with Clinton’s lawyers and advisers to gain access to all of her emails, but without results.

In July 2014, the State Department contacted Clinton’s staff and requested copies of all her work-related emails from her time as secretary of state. In this month, those efforts intensify with the face-to-face negotiations. However, the emails still are not handed over, so the State Department will formally request them in late October. (The Washington Post, 3/27/2016) (The New York Times, 3/5/2015)

November 18, 2014: The House Benghazi Committee makes an additional request for emails to and from Clinton and ten of her senior staff at the State Department.

The House Benghazi Committee in session in 2015. (Credit: C-SPAN3)

The House Benghazi Committee in session in 2015. (Credit: C-SPAN3)

They request all the emails relating to Libya, and/or the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. (House Benghazi Committee, 3/4/2015)

December 5, 2014: 50,000 pages of printed emails from Clinton’s personal account are delivered to the State Department by Clinton’s staff.

They contain 30,490 emails that Clinton deems to be work related. But she will later reveal that she deleted another 31,830 emails that were personal and private. It is not known exactly when those emails were deleted. Apparently, Clinton hands over only paper copies of the emails that she does hand over. (The Washington Post, 3/10/2015)

Cheryl Mills,, who used to be Clinton’s chief of staff but now is one of her lawyers, writes a letter to the State Department on this day that apparently accompanies the release. In it, according to the FBI, she asserts “that it was Clinton’s practice to email State [Department] officials at their government email accounts for official business, and, therefore, [the State Department] already had records of Clinton’s emails preserved within [their] recordkeeping systems.”

The department’s inspector general will conclude in a May 2016 report that this was a proper appropriate method of preserving record emails, and Clinton should have turned over all her emails when she left office. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/2/2016)

January 15, 2015: Secretary Clinton receives 12 million dollars in exchange for Meeting in Morocco.

King Mohammed VI (Credit: Getty Images)

King Mohammed VI (Credit: Getty Images)

Clinton aide Huma Abedin requests $12 million from Moroccan King Mohammed VI in exchange for granting the king’s request to host an international Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) (a Clinton Foundation program) meeting in Morocco. Abdein outlines the request in an email later made public by WikiLeaks: “This was [Clinton’s] idea, our office approached the Moroccans and they 100 percent believe they are doing this at her request. The King has personally committed approx $12 million both for the endowment and to support the meeting.

Abdein mentions the necessity of Clinton’s presence for a successful initiation of the metting: “If [Clinton] was not part if it, meeting was a non-starter.

Abdein also cites a potentially related “mess” involving China and implies her responsibility for it’s creation: “It will break a lot of china to back out now when we had so many opportunities to do it in the past few months. She created this mess and she knows it.” (The Daily Caller, 10/20/16)

February 13, 2015: The State Department sends the House Benghazi Committee about 300 of Clinton’s emails relating to Libya.

However, they do not provide other documents in response to the committee’s broader November 2014 request for all Libya-related emails to and from Clinton and her senior staff. (House Benghazi Committee, 5/8/2015) (The New York Times, 3/2/2015)

March 2, 2015: A New York Times front-page article reveals to the public for the first time that Clinton exclusively used a private email account for all her emails while secretary of state.

A snippet from the front page of the NYT on March 3, 2015. (Credit: NYT)

A snippet from the front page of the NYT on March 3, 2015. (The headline published on the website, is different than the print version published the next morning.) (Credit: New York Times)

The article by Michael Schmidt is entitled, “Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules.” It appears as the main front page headline on the printed version of the New York Times the next morning with a slightly different title.

This article also reveals that Clinton’s aides took no action to preserve emails sent or received from her as required by the Federal Records Act. It points out that she left the State Department in February 2013, but didn’t give the department her work-related emails until December 2014. It suggests she may have violated federal regulations by exclusively using a personal email account for public business while secretary of state.

The Times further reveals that existence of Clinton’s personal email account was discovered by the House Benghazi Committee when it sought correspondence between Clinton and her aides. (The New York Times, 3/2/2015)

It will later be frequently assumed that the article also reveals that her email account was hosted on a private server. However, that will be first revealed two days later in an Associated Press article.

Shortly After March 2, 2015: The State Department asks for all the work-related emails from four of Clinton’s top aides.

The four are Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines. All four of them frequently used personal email accounts for work matters while Clinton was secretary of state, though they also had government email accounts. According to a 2016 department inspector general’s report, the four of them hand over “email from their personal accounts during the summer of 2015.” (US Department of State, 5/25/2016)

March 3, 2015: A Clinton aide makes misleading comparisons to previous secretaries of state.

An unnamed Clinton aide says about Clinton’s use of a private email account and server, “Nothing nefarious was at play. She had a BlackBerry, she used it prior to State, and like her predecessors she continued to use it when she got to State.” (Politico, 3/3/2015) 

However, a week later, the Wall Street Journal will report that Condoleezza Rice, Clinton’s predecessor as secretary of state, had a government email account and no private email account for work-related matters. Rice only used the account occasionally, but she did use it. (Wall Street Journal, 3/10/2015) Furthermore, Rice did not use a BlackBerry or similar device. (Ars Technica, 3/17/2016) 

Earlier secretaries of state did not use BlackBerrys and did not use private email accounts for government work. (ABC News, 3/4/2016)

March 4, 2015: It is reported for the first time that Clinton’s private email address was hosted on a private server.

On March 2, 2015, the New York Times revealed that Clinton exclusively used a private email acccount while she was secretary of state. However, that article made no mention of private servers. On this day, the Associated Press reveals that account was registered to a private server located at Clinton’s house in Chappaqua, New York. This was discovered by searching Internet records. For instance, someone named Eric Hoteham used Clinton’s Chappaqua physical address to register an Internet address for her email server since August 2010. (This may be a misspelling of Clinton aide Eric Hothem.)

The Associated Press reports, “Operating her own server would have afforded Clinton additional legal opportunities to block government or private subpoenas in criminal, administrative or civil cases because her lawyers could object in court before being forced to turn over any emails. And since the Secret Service was guarding Clinton’s home, an email server there would have been well protected from theft or a physical hacking.”

The article continues, “But homemade email servers are generally not as reliable, secure from hackers or protected from fires or floods as those in commercial data centers. Those professional facilities provide monitoring for viruses or hacking attempts, regulated temperatures, off-site backups, generators in case of power outages, fire-suppression systems, and redundant communications lines.”

The article mentions that it is unclear Clinton’s server is still physically located in Chappaqua.  (The Associated Press, 3/4/2015) It will later be revealed that it was moved to a data center in New Jersey in June 2013.


March 5, 2015: Questions surround Clinton’s possible use of instant messages on her unsecure BlackBerry.

BlackBerrys from Clinton’s time as secretary of state can be used for instant messages as well as emails. Bloomberg reports that Clinton’s “top aides frequently used instant text messages to talk with each other, a form of communication that isn’t captured or archived by the State Department. It is not clear whether Clinton herself used her BlackBerry’s instant message service, as her aides did.” (Bloomberg News, 3/5/2015)

March 5, 2015: Key questions about Clinton’s email scandal go unanswered.

Politico reports, “State Department officials and Clinton aides have offered no response to questions in recent days about how her private email system was set up, what security measures it used, and whether anyone at the agency approved the arrangement. It’s unclear how such a system, run off an Internet domain apparently purchased by the Clinton family, could have won approval if the department’s policies were as the [State Department’s] inspector general’s report describes them.” (Politico, 3/3/2015

According to State Department regulations in effect at the time, the use of a home computer was permitted, but only if the computer was officially certified as secure, and no evidence has emerged that Clinton’s server was given such a certification. Additionally, the department’s Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) states, “Only Department-issued or approved systems are authorized to connect to Department enterprise networks.” (US Department of State) 

An April 2016 article will indicate that many of the same questions still remain unanswered. (The Hill, 3/4/2016)

March 10, 2015: Clinton claims she has deleted about 30,000 of her emails from her time as secretary of state, but they actually still exist on her private server.

In a press conference at the United Nations, Clinton says, “At the end, I chose not to keep my private, personal emails. Emails about planning [my daughter] Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements. Condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations – the other things you typically find in in-boxes. No one wants their personal emails made public. And I think most people understand that and respect that privacy.” (NPR, 3/11/2015)

It is reported for the first time through Clinton’s comments that about 30,000 emails were deleted by her aides, which is about half of all of her emails from her tenure as secretary of state. (The Los Angeles Times, 3/10/2015) (It will later be reported that the precise number of deleted emails was 31,830.)

The New York Times will report in August 2015, “[Clinton’s privacy] explanation might win public sympathy. But it did not take long for evidence to surface that the culling may have included some work-related emails as well.” (The New York Times, 8/8/2015) Eventually, the FBI will recover about 15,0000 of the deleted emails and it will be discovered that 5,600 of them were work-related.

However, it also will later be revealed that at the time of this press conference, the emails still existed on Clinton’s private server. They won’t be deleted until late March 2015.

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)

Mid-June 2015: One Clinton email containing classified information was accidentally released.

Patrick Kennedy (Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images)

Patrick Kennedy (Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images)

In mid-June 2015, Inspectors general Charles McCullough and Steve Linick discover that classified information mentioned in one of Clinton’s emails was publicly released by the State Department in May 2015. This appears to be an email written by State Department official Tim Davis on April 10, 2011, and then forwarded to Clinton. It contained very time sensitive US military intelligence about security of US officials in Libya.

The two inspectors general begin fighting with State Department official Patrick Kennedy over what information in Clinton’s emails can be released and what can’t. Kennedy and other State Department officials believe McCullough and Linick want to classify too much. Kennedy is a holdover from when Clinton was secretary of state. US intelligence agencies get involved with declassifying Clinton’s emails to make sure the mistake doesn’t happen again. (The Washington Post, 8/14/2015) (CNN, 8/20/2015)

July 31, 2015—August 7, 2015: Emails of Clinton’s top two aides are ordered saved before they can be destroyed.

Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy notifies Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills and her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin to immediately return all government related emails and records in their possession, along with all copies. According to Politico, Kennedy sends “urgent letters” about this to the lawyers of Mills and Abedin. (Politico, 11/6/2015) 

On August 7, 2015, Mills’ lawyer states that after planning to turn over some emails under court order by August 10, “we have instructed her to delete any and all electronic records in her possession.” But that evening, Judge Emmet Sullivan issues an order instructing Clinton, Mills, and Abedin not to destroy any emails they may still have. (The New York Observer, 8/7/2015) 

The emails will apparently be saved, because a judge will later order the release of all of Abedin’s emails, and a lawsuit to release all of Mills’ emails is still in progress. (Politico, 1/11/2016) (The Hill, 3/9/2016)

August 11, 2015: The State Department won’t reveal which Clinton aides used her private server or other non-government accounts.

Bradley Moss (Credit: public domain)

Bradley Moss (Credit: public domain)

In March 2015, the House Benghazi Committee subpoenaed records, including work-related emails from personal accounts, from ten former Clinton aides, for a two-year period surrounding the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. The State Department then asked those ten people for their records. It is known that four of the aides—Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines—have turned over records, including from personal email accounts. However, it is not known what happened with the other six, or even who they are.

Clinton wrote in a sworn affidavit on August 6, 2015 that Abedin had an email account on Clinton’s private server and that Mills did not. Otherwise, department officials and Clinton’s staff have failed to reveal who else had an email account on Clinton’s server or even which other aides had any kind of personal email account.

The Intelligence Community inspector general’s office says it is not currently involved in any inquiry into Clinton’s former top aides because it is being denied full access to the aides’ emails by the State Department.

The media outlet Gawker is suing for access to Reines’ emails. Bradley Moss, a lawyer for Gawker, says: “I think the headline is that there’s nothing but murkiness and non-answers from the State Department. I think the State Department is figuring this out as it goes along, which is exactly why no one should be using personal email to conduct government business.”  (McClatchy Newspapers, 8/11/2015)

August 11, 2015: One Clinton investigation has expanded to investigate Clinton’s top aides.

The State Department inspector general’s office says it is reviewing the use of “personal communications hardware and software” by Clinton’s former top aides, after requests from Congress. In March 2015, three Republican Senate committee chairs—Richard Burr, Ron Johnson, and Bob Corker—requested an audit of some of her aides’ personal emails.

Douglas Welty, a spokesperson for the inspector general’s office, says, “We will follow the facts wherever they lead, to include former aides and associates, as appropriate.” However, the office won’t say which aides are being investigated.  (McClatchy Newspapers, 8/11/2015)

August 13, 2015: “The FBI is seeking to determine whether data from [Clinton’s] private email server may still exist elsewhere.”

Matt Devost (Credit: Twitter)

Matt Devost (Credit: Twitter)

This is according to Bloomberg News, based on information from an unnamed US official. The data may have been backed up on another machine. Peter Toren, a former computer crimes prosecutor for the Justice Department, says Clinton didn’t use a private server “because it was convenient for her. There’s a ton of email services that are available that are actually quite secure, easy to use, and you can use them on every device.” (Bloomberg News, 8/13/2015)

Security expert Matt Devost similarly comments that when it comes to a private server like Clinton’s, “You erase it and everything’s gone,” while commercial email services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail retain copies even after users erase them from their inboxes, which could be why Clinton didn’t use them for her email account. (Bloomberg News, 3/4/2015)

However, many of Clinton’s top aides did use commercial email services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail, and the FBI could find copies of some of Clinton’s emails by asking those companies to check their back-up copies. (Bloomberg News, 8/13/2015)

August 14, 2015: Clinton’s top two aides also used private email accounts for government work.

State Department official John F. Hackett reveals to a federal judge that two of Clinton’s aides “used personal email accounts located on commercial servers at times for government business.” Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills had a Google Gmail account, and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin had an account on the same clintonemail.com private server used by Clinton. (The Washington Times, 8/14/2015

Clinton has argued that 90% or more of her emails would have been archived by the State Department since she communicated mostly with other State Department employees. But in fact less than one percent of emails were archived by the department during her tenure there, and she emailed Mills and Abedin more than anyone else. (The Washington Post, 11/9/2015)

September 11, 2015: Clinton apologized for her email scandal only reluctantly and after great pressure from supporters and aides.

Clinton apologizes during a campaign stop in Newton, Iowa on September 8, 2015. (Credit: Charlie Neibergall / The Associated Press)

Clinton apologizes during a campaign stop in Newton, Iowa on September 8, 2015. (Credit: Charlie Neibergall / The Associated Press)

On September 8, 2015, Clinton finally said that her use of a private email account and private server while secretary of state was “a mistake,” and “I’m sorry about that.”

The New York Times publishes an article based on “interviews with a half-dozen people with direct knowledge” of Clinton’s private decisions that claims it was a long and “tortured path” getting Clinton to make any apology. For months, she resisted pressure from advisers and friends to apologize, saying that her actions had been within the law and to do so would only legitimize criticism of her behavior. But pressure continued to mount and her poll numbers dropped.

In early September 2015, Clinton’s campaign organized focus groups with voters, which showed that voters liked when Clinton took a more conciliatory tone over the issue. Still, Clinton had trouble apologizing. The Times reports, “Frustration reached a fever pitch among some of her supporters, who sounded an alarm in calls to Clinton campaign aides.”

By September 8, Clinton’s strategists “concluded that there was only one way out of it,” leading to her apology in an interview later that day. (The New York Times, 9/11/2015)

October 2, 2015: The State Department asks Clinton to search again for any missing emails from her time as secretary of state.

Alec Gerlach (Credit: Twitter)

Alec Gerlach (Credit: Twitter)

According to State Department spokesperson Alec Gerlach, the department sends a letter to Clinton’s legal representative, “[making] an additional request for any records that former Secretary Clinton may have in her possession.” This is due to news reports in September 2015 that additional work-related emails between her and Army General David Petraeus from her first weeks as secretary of state were found. (McClatchy Newspapers, 12/31/2015)

The letter contains a particular request for emails from the first two months Clinton was secretary of state. This is because Clinton claimed that she only started using her private email in March 2009, but in September 2015, some private emails of hers were found from sources other than Clinton dating back to January 2009.

More recently, Clinton’s aides have claimed that Clinton could not turn over emails from this two month period because they had not been captured on her private server. They haven’t explained why this might be. (McClatchy Newspapers, 10/6/2015) It is unknown if any more emails from that time are found by Clinton, and it’s also not known if she still has copies of her emails.

October 7, 2015: The FBI has allegedly seized four State Department computer servers as part of its Clinton email investigation.

According to the Free Beacon, the servers were located at the department’s headquarters building in Washington, DC, and were maintained by the department’s Bureau of Information Resource Management. It is claimed they were taken by the FBI “several weeks ago.”

According to two unnamed people familiar with the investigation, the servers are being analyzed by technical forensic analysts who are trying to determine how “top secret” information was sent to Clinton’s private email account by her aides. Spokespeople for the FBI, State Department, and Clinton’s campaign refuse to comment about the matter. (The Free Beacon, 10/7/2015)