Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s lawyer has given the Federal Bureau of Investigation Clinton’s private email server and a thumb drive of work-related emails from her tenure as secretary of state, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday, quoting a campaign spokesman.
Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email for her work as America’s top diplomat came to light in March and drew fire from political opponents who accused her of sidestepping transparency and record-keeping laws. The private account was linked to a server in her New York home.
David Kendall, Hillary Clinton’s lawyer, and Nick Merrill, the Clinton spokesman, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A Justice Department spokeswoman said she did not have any information at this time to share with reporters. Michael Kortan, an FBI spokesman, wrote in an email that he had “nothing to say.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently began looking into the security of the federal records and classified information contained among Hillary Clinton’s emails. The U.S. government considers federal records to be government property.
The Justice Department has said the FBI began investigating after the inspector general who oversees the U.S. intelligence agencies, I. Charles McCullough III, formally notified them of his concern that there was classified information not in the government’s control.
Throughout her four years as secretary of state under President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton eschewed an official state.gov email address in favor of a private clintonemail.com email account run from a home computer server. At least one senior aide, Huma Abedin, also used the server for some work email. Clinton said the unusual arrangement broke no rules that were in force at the time.
Last December, she provided what she said were copies of all the work emails she had in her possession, nearly two years after she stepped down as secretary of state.
Clinton handed over about 30,000 emails she sent and received, although her staff have since acknowledged without explanation that some work emails are missing. She did not hand over another 30,000 emails from this period that she deemed personal and said she chose “not to keep.”
The State Department has been steadily releasing the emails to the public in keeping with Clinton’s request after redacting parts of them to remove sensitive or classified information.
A number of polls in recent months have found that more than half of voters find Clinton untrustworthy, although she remains the favorite to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidential election in November, 2016.
The development was quickly seized by Clinton’s Republican opponents as a chance to portray her not worthy of the White House.
“If Hillary Clinton believed in honesty and transparency, she would have turned over her secret server months ago to an independent arbiter, not as a last resort and to the Obama Justice Department,” Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement.