Questions to ask about Hillary Clinton’s emails

As investigations continue into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for public business, and her deletion of thousands of email records, here is some of the information that should be sought.

To Clinton:

1. Detail the processes you followed to ensure your Benghazi-related emails were lawfully provided as a result of Congressional subpoenas and Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. Detail any searches you conducted and materials you provided. (No emails were ever provided pursuant to my 2012 Benghazi email request.)

2. Provide names of all people involved in and/or with knowledge of your email practices as secretary of state. This includes, but is not limited to, technicians. Also provide a list with all people you consulted about the private server and email practices.

3. Provide a chain of custody accounting and chronology for all servers, email accounts, mobile devices (which as smartphone, blackberries and laptop computers) you used, whether or not under your own name, after you were nominated to become secretary of state. Provide all documents, including but not limited to, invoices, notes, emails and other records associated with the establishment and use of the servers and accounts.

4. Provide a list of any messages, such as text messages and instant messages, sent or received as secretary of state on any device used while secretary of state.

5. Provide documentation showing what vetting was done, if any, prior to utilizing the private server, to determine whether your intended practices would comply with disclosure guidelines, records laws and ethics rules. Include all documentation reflecting opinions or findings you received on this issue.

6. Provide documentation showing what processes you followed, if any, to notify appropriate oversight bodies of your intended use of private server, as well as their responses.

7. Provide documentation showing what processes you followed, if any, to ensure appropriate security of the private server and/or any other email avenues utilized as secretary of state.

8. You have stated that you did not send any classified materials using the private server. Did you ever receive any classified information?

9. Did you seek to have your emails reviewed by a classification officer? If not, could any information you sent or received conceivably have been deemed to be sensitive or otherwise classified if it had been reviewed by a classification officer?

10. Do you believe all federal employees have the right to use personal servers, email addresses and aliases for convenience purposes or other reasons? If so, then how can one count on your assurance that all emails you sent were properly captured and saved by the state department recipient? If you do not believe all federal employees have the right to use private servers and self-sort through emails, explain which employees you believe – like yourself – have that right, and which do not.

11. Do you have any knowledge of the alleged basement operation to sort out “embarrassing” Benghazi documents, as described by your former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell?

To Attorney General Eric Holder:

Your office has been quoted as saying that you used at least three email aliases as attorney general. But your office has not answered the question: have you ever used private accounts, servers, other aliases or email addresses as attorney general? Please answer this question and provide details.

To Obama administration:

1. Since Clinton claims her practices did not violate any rules, laws or guidelines; but other authorities differ on this point, do you plan to issue immediate guidance to explain what is and isn’t appropriate? If not, why?

2. What is your position on whether Clinton’s email and documents practices, as known to date, violated any rules, laws or guidelines?

3. Have you conducted queries to identify whether other federal agencies and agency officials are using practices such as the ones Clinton used? If so, what are the results? If not, why?

4. Do you believe all federal employees have the same right to use personal servers, email addresses and aliases for convenience purposes or other reasons? If so, then do you believe all federal employees have no obligation to maintain the records because (using Clinton’s reasoning) the email recipients should have saved them?

5. Additionally, if such employees were asked to turn over their emails (for a Congressional investigation, FOI request or subpoena), do you believe they have the right to self-sort through emails to decide which records should be produced?

6. Provide names of state department officials who were in charge of records production pursuant to FOI requests, lawsuit and subpoenas. Were they aware of the Clinton private email use? If not, who withheld this information? If so, then what steps did they take to try to obtain the public information contained on Clinton’s personal server?

To federal judges involved in FOI litigation stemming from the state department’s failure to properly respond to FOI requests:

If it’s determined that Clinton did not properly produce materials pursuant to FOI litigation, will court require a new search and will sanctions or penalties be issued?



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