12 things I learned from the FBI report on Hillary Clinton’s private email server

On Friday afternoon, the FBI released its 47-page report on the investigation into the private email server Hillary Clinton used while serving as secretary of state. (The FBI also released an 11-page document detailing its interview with Clinton in early July.)

I went through the report, highlighting things I either found interesting or didn’t know. My notes — in the chronological order I made them while going through the report — are below. I don’t pretend that this is a comprehensive recording of all that we didn’t (or did) know about Clinton’s decision to set up a private email server and exclusively use it for her electronic correspondence while serving as the nation’s top diplomat. This is just one man’s observations.

FBI Director James Comey said on July 5 that Hillary Clinton should not be charged for her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. (Video: Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

1. Clinton had 13 mobile devices during her four years at the State Department and five iPads.

She was unable to find any of the mobile devices to turn over to the FBI but did find three of the iPads.

2. Clinton never sought approval to conduct state business on her own private email server despite “an obligation to do so.”

3. Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell advised Clinton to keep it secret that she was using a BlackBerry to conduct official business.

4. A note sent to all State Department employees on Clinton’s behalf warned them against the risks of using personal email addresses for official business.

5. The State Department, regularly during Clinton’s tenure, sent out notes warning of the dangers of using mobile devices not up to agency security standards.

6. Clinton neither participated in conversations with her lawyers about how to determine which emails were professional and which were personal, nor did she provide them any guidance as to the locations of those emails.

7. Clinton told the FBI the decision to delete her personal emails was because she didn’t need them anymore, not because she was trying to avoid State Department, FBI or Freedom of Information Act requests.

8. Three weeks after the New York Times broke the story of the existence of Clinton’s email server, a number of Clinton’s emails were deleted — allegedly because of a missed request by Clinton’s State Department chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, in 2014.

9. The FBI found 17,448 work-related and personal emails that Clinton did not turn over to the State Department.

The FBI report offers no breakdown of how many of those 17,448 were work-related and how many were personal.

10. Clinton told the FBI that she was unaware that the “C” marking on emailed documents meant they were confidential.

11. Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton associate, sent the secretary of state 179 email memos during her time as the nation’s top diplomat.

12. Clinton was concerned that her email had been hacked.


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