Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Officials took pains to grant Hillary Clinton email access

Hillary Clinton, shown during a campaign event Thursday in San Francisco, was offered a "stand-alone" computer near her office that would let her access the Internet without entering a password or logging into the department's network as other employees are required to do, according to a career agency official. [Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

Hillary Clinton, shown during a campaign event Thursday in San Francisco, was offered a "stand-alone" computer near her office that would let her access the Internet without entering a password or logging into the department's network as other employees are required to do, according to a career agency official. [Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

WASHINGTON — State Department officials took pains to accommodate Hillary Clinton's email practices as secretary, according to newly released testimony by a career agency official.

Clinton was offered a "stand-alone" computer near her office that would let her access the Internet without entering a password or logging into the department's network as other employees are required to do, the official said.

The official, Lewis A. Lukens, executive director of Clinton's executive secretariat from 2008 to 2011, said he was told the proposal was declined because Clinton was "not adept or not used to checking her emails on a desktop." However, Lukens said, Clinton was "very comfortable" using a BlackBerry — even though she would have to leave her office to use the device due to security protocols.

Lukens's testimony on May 18 came in the first of six depositions scheduled until late June of current and former State Department and top Clinton aides in a civil lawsuit probing whether Clinton's exclusive use of a private email server while secretary from 2009 to 2013 thwarted federal open-records laws.

The Lukens transcript was released Thursday, one day after State Department Inspector General Steve A. Linick issued a highly critical, 83-page report on Clinton's email practices. The report concluded that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for the server arrangement and that, if she had, it would not have been granted because of security risks.

Clinton allies had braced for the IG report and findings from a pending FBI investigation into whether the email setup mishandled classified information or violated other federal laws.

However, the ongoing depositions appear likely to keep a spotlight on the matter that Clinton has tried to put to rest in her presidential campaign.

On Friday, Clinton's former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, is to give sworn testimony in the lawsuit brought by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch. The lawsuit concerns the group's 2013 public records request for information about the employment arrangement of Mills's deputy, Huma Abedin.

In a statement Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, said that IG report "makes clear that Secretary Clinton and a number of other former Department officials have not been truthful with the American people" and failed to turn over certain emails from personal email accounts.

In his testimony, Lukens, a Foreign Service officer for 27 years who oversaw 110 employees providing administrative support to the secretary, said he never recalled speaking about Clinton's email address or use of a personal BlackBerry with a direct subordinate, John Bentel, in charge of the secretariat's electronic communications.

Lukens said Mills did not ask for Clinton to have a computer in her office, and that he did not think a State email account was set up for Clinton because she did not ask for one.

"At that point, as far as I knew, there was no requirement for her to be connected to our system," Lukens said.

Lukens did not think it unusual because, he said, "I'm not aware of former secretaries of state having email addresses on our system."

In its report, the inspector general's office noted that "long-standing systemic weaknesses" in department handling of electronic records that spanned several secretaries, and noted that Colin Powell when secretary used a personal email account for official business.

Lukens said he assumed Clinton used a commercial email service and did not know of her private server until it was reported last year. He proposed a "stand-alone" computer for Clinton to access the Internet to check her emails because mobile phones are not allowed in the secretary's office suite.

Lukens initially said he wanted to make it easier for Clinton to bypass the department's computer network so she could log on with fewer passwords, before acknowledging that Clinton could not access the system without a department email account.

Officials took pains to grant Hillary Clinton email access 05/27/16 [Last modified: Friday, May 27, 2016 9:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Plan your weekend Aug. 18-20: Elvis in concert, Jason Aldean, Monster Jam Triple Threat, Sing-Along Grease

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    The king

    Elvis: Live in Concert: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, and Ruth Eckerd Hall will have a Graceland-produced Elvis concert on a movie screen, accompanied by a full live orchestra. Graceland calls it the closest audiences …

    Handout photos of Elvis: Live in Concert, a tour spectacle featuring a live orchestra backing the voice of Elvis Presley, projected onto a movie screen. The tour comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on 8/18/17. Credit: Graceland.
  2. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  3. Boynton Beach woman arrested on DUI, child abuse charges

    Criminal

    A Boynton Beach woman was arrested Saturday and faces DUI and child abuse charges after she blew a .200 on a breath test with an unbuckled child in the backseat, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

    Brandy Lerma, 31 of Boynton Beach, was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges on Saturday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Editorial: Why can't Hillsborough commissioners move Confederate monument?

    Editorials

    The violence in Charlottesville, Va., crystallized for much of the nation the danger of refusing to address painful symbols of the past. But not so in Hillsborough County, where the County Commission on Wednesday reversed itself yet again and left open the possibility of leaving a Confederate monument outside the …

  5. Former WTSP employee sues station's parent companies for gender discrimination

    Civil

    A former director at WTSP-Ch. 10 has sued the station's parent companies, claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination.