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)