The State Department’s Inspector General, head of the department’s internal watchdog, released the results of an audit Wednesday stating that Hillary Clinton violated protocol with her use of a private email server to conduct State Department business. The release stated in part that:
Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices, who in turn would have attempted to provide her with approved and secured means that met her business needs. However, according to these officials, DS and IRM did not—and would not—approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business, because of the restrictions in the [Foreign Affairs Manual] and the security risks in doing so.
While federal Offices of Inspector General have the authority to bring charges, this was not a criminal investigation, and the eight recommendations made by the State Department all relate to process improvements on the part of the State Department. The audit does poke a hole in previous Clinton campaign statements, however. Clinton’s claim that she had requested and received permission to conduct business via a private server was not substantiated by the State Department review. Additionally, State Department rules for preserving business-related emails on private servers were updated in 2009, undermining her comparisons to previous Secretaries of State (which the report conceded).
Unlike the FBI investigation, which can levy far more serious penalties, Clinton and top aides chose not to cooperate with the State Department investigation. While it’s unclear what impact the results of the State Department investigation will have on the FBI probe, PredictIt contracts wagering on the Clinton indictment shot up 6 cents on Wednesday.