By Randy Foreman, White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON – (Newsblaze) The White House on Monday was unable to tell reporters whether former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had broken the law in archiving her electronic communications as the nation’s chief diplomat.
ABC White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest directly “I want to try it again, and I want to plead to you, please do not refer me to the State Department. I’m going to ask you something about the White House, and my question is a very basic one. So my direct question is: Does the White House believe that Hillary Clinton broke the law? Yes or no.”
Earnest pleaded for an opportunity with Karl by saying “Just give me a chance. That if, in fact, what Secretary Clinton’s team said they were going to do, that they did, and that can be verified by the State Department who is responsible for maintaining these records, that would be entirely consistent with what the Federal Records Act requires.
So again, I’m not in a position – I was not in a position to review Secretary Clinton’s personal email. That was the responsibility of Secretary Clinton and her team. That’s what they say that they did. They say that they turned over thousands of pages and thousands of emails, including many that were already on the State Department system. And that entirely consistent with the requirements of the Federal Records Act.”
In recent days, news reports have surfaced that Clinton had registered an internet domain name on the day of her confirmation and used an email address of “[email protected]” and the possible 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate did not have a government email address.
During Monday’s Press Briefing Earnest took the time to share the current policy that Obama Administration officials follow when it comes to saving electronic communications.
“Now, the official guidance that we offer to administration employees – and it’s certainly the guidance that I have followed here personally when I’ve been at the White House – is that I use my official government email address when I’m conducting official government business. It saves me the additional step of having to take a personal email and forward it to my government email so that it can be properly maintained.
Now, it’s not incredibly uncommon for one of you, or one of your colleagues, to send an email to my personal address. A few of you have it. But when I do that, I will answer the emails – which I try to be pretty good about doing – but then I will take that response and forward the email to my official account so that the record of that email exchange can be properly preserved.”
Earnest was also unclear about whether other administration officials were using private email accounts to conduct government business or as to whether anyone else knew that Hillary Clinton was using a private email account.
“Well, again, we think that if people choose to conduct government business on email, that they should do so using their official government account. I guess if you choose not to do any government business on email, I guess it would be fine for you to not have a government account.”
Thousands of people inside and outside of the administration must have seen emails from the former Secretary of State. Didn’t anyone comment on how strange that seemed? Didn’t anyone suggest there might be a problem? Didn’t anyone query whether emails were being preserved? Did Hillary Clinton ever email Josh Earnest or President Obama or anyone at all who might understand the possible implications?
Josh Earnest will address reporters on Wednesday in the West Wing.