A State Department audit has faulted Hillary Clinton and previous secretaries of state for poorly managing email and other computer information and slowly responding to new cybersecurity risks.
by the agency's inspector general was obtained by multiple news outlets Wednesday.
It cites "longstanding, systemic weaknesses" related to communications. These started in the secratary of state's office before Clinton's appointment to the post, but her failures were singled out as more serious.
The review came after revelations Clinton exclusively used a private email account and server while in office. Clinton is now the likely Democratic presidential nominee.
The 78-page report says the department and its secretaries were "slow to recognize and to manage effectively the legal requirements and cybersecurity risks associated with electronic data communications, particularly as those risks pertain to its most senior leadership."
The long-awaited report shows that Clinton and her top aides — including Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin — chose not to cooperate with the review.
"Therefore, Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary," the report states.
"At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."
The report's findings are based on interviews with Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessors – Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
The Washington Free Beacon
notes that the report also suggests that Clinton did not exclusively use a personal email address, rather than a government address, out of convenience, but rather that she sought to remove her emails from the scope of public records laws.
"I don't want any risk of the personal [email account] being accessible," Clinton wrote to Abedin, in November 2010.
She was responding to Abedin's suggestion that "we should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam," the report notes.
"Let's get separate address or device," Clinton replied, add that "I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible."
Clinton continued using a personal email address for official State Department business throughout her tenure as secretary. The department’s IG concluded in its report that her email practices violated federal regulations on the maintenance of government records.
Clinton is now being probed the FBI for her use of the private server for official State Department business. She insists she did nothing illegal and was motivated by the desire for convenience.
Politico says Clinton has also "faced scrutiny for instructing her staff to delete about 32,000 messages deemed personal by her team."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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