In addition to her own email address, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server hosted a number of other accounts for people in her inner circle, including her husband, daughter, and at least one close adviser, The New York Times reported
"Obtaining an account from that domain became a symbol of status within the family's inner circle, conferring prestige and closeness to the secretary," the Times said.
The domain name, clintonemail.com, was set up by a former aide to the Clintons, Justin Cooper, and based at their home in Chappaqua, New York.
Clinton used the email address for everything, the Times said, including State Department matters, her daughter's wedding planning, and matters related to the Clinton Foundation.
"It seems her intent was to create a system where she could personally manage access to her communications," John Wonderlich, policy director of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates transparency in government, told the Times.
"Given all the power she had as secretary of state, a lot of that work would be jumbled together," he added. "Her presidential ambitions and the family foundation would be wrapped up technically in email."
The use of an email outside the official government server has triggered intense public criticism as Clinton prepares for a possible 2016 presidential bid. Her aides have refused to explain why the account was set up, or detail the process by which they culled the partial record of emails that they turned over to the State Department.
Clinton on Wednesday sent out a tweet saying she has asked the State Department to release her emails
and added, "I want the public to see my email."
According to The Smoking Gun
, the discovery that Clinton used a non-governmental email address came from "Guccifer," the Romanian hacker who is currently in prison in Bucharest as a result of his online attacks against numerous public figures.
Guccifer illegally accessed the AOL email account of Sidney Blumenthal, who worked as a senior White House adviser to President Bill Clinton, and found numerous emails from Blumenthal to Clinton's personal account regarding highly sensitive intelligence about foreign matters. Some screenshots were taken of emails to Clinton.
In an email to supporters, Burns Strider, a senior adviser to Correct the Record, which acts to protect Clinton in the media, pointed out that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush used his personal jeb.org domain for official business.
But Bush's spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell, said all of Bush's emails from his personal account have been made available.
"His emails were available via public records requests throughout his time in office and have remained available," Campbell told the Times.
Concerns have also been raised that Clinton's email by virtue of being privately owned would have been the target of hacking and vulnerable to security breaches.
"She obviously would have been targeted when she stepped outside of the secure State Department networks," Tom Kellermann, a cybersecurity expert with Trend Micro, told the Times, adding that the unintended consequence was that Clinton may have "undermined State Department security."
On Wednesday a congressional committee that is investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks
subpoenaed all of Clinton's emails related to Libya.
The breadth of the request was intended to uncover whether Clinton released all of the correspondence about the attacks beyond the 900 pages of emails that the department already turned over to the committee, the Times reported.
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