Tags: Hillary Clinton | MidPoint | Sharyl Attkisson | Hillary Clinton | email | pattern

Sharyl Attkisson: Hillary's Personal Email Use Part of Pattern

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 03:15 PM

Hillary Clinton conducting State Department business exclusively through a personal email account fits a pattern of federal bureaucracies avoiding official channels in order to shield their activities from public view, says investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson.

"I'm not saying it's only in this administration," Emmy-winning journalist Attkisson told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Wednesday, although her Obama-era battles over access to government information are the subject of her best-selling memoir, "Stonewalled."

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"We know that under this administration, high-ranking officials in various federal agencies have claimed that they didn't understand — or had reasons not to follow — federal law that requires certain sorts of record retention," including for official email correspondence, said Attkisson,

"This has happened, I believe, at the IRS, with HHS," she said, citing the agencies accused, respectively, of targeting politically conservative PACs and of mismanaging or misrepresenting the Affordable Care Act.

Attkisson, an independent journalist formerly with CBS News, said that while working on a story about the ACA's online insurance marketplace, HealthCare.gov, she has learned that one official "was specifically told, 'Don't email things; we don't want to create email records.'

"They're very cognizant now that these records are public record," she said.

"If anyone thinks that people who might be doing something the public doesn't like aren't scheming ways to get around the idea that these records can be disclosed, they're being naïve," she said, "because that's going on all the time."

Attkisson also sounded skeptical of the defenses offered on behalf of the former secretary of state — that Clinton broke no laws in using a private email account for affairs of state, that she informed work-related email recipients of their obligation to retain the correspondence, and that her staff has reviewed and turned over thousands of the emails in question on demand.

"That doesn't make sense," said Attkisson, arguing that the Clinton approach puts the burden of transparency entirely on the "wrong end" of the correspondence, because it requires anybody requesting the records to know — or guess — who Clinton emailed and at what online address.

"You would have to know the names of those people and how to get their emails and request those things," she said.

Clinton defenders are claiming that as long as the email recipients kept everything, the records have been properly retained within the spirit and the letter of the law.

"But it seems to me that it's at least inappropriate, or disingenuous," said Attkisson, "for a federal official to put themselves in a position of being able to filter through and basically on their own — especially if they're accused of potential wrongdoing — decide what records get turned over."

"And if people at the highest levels aren't following federal law or claiming they don't understand it, what's the law there for?" said Attkisson. "Who's going to follow it at all, if not people at the very top?"

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Hillary Clinton conducting State Department business exclusively through a personal email account fits apattern of federal bureaucracies avoiding official channels in order to shield their activities from public view, says investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson.
Sharyl Attkisson, Hillary Clinton, email, pattern
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2015-15-04
Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 03:15 PM
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