Sen. Chuck Grassley questions Defense Secretary Ash Carter's use of personal email

Story highlights

  • Carter's usage of personal email for business comes in the wake of revelations that former secretaries of state had used private email accounts to conduct government business
  • Hillary Clinton has been subjected to intense scrutiny over the controversial practice

Washington (CNN)Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley sent a letter Monday questioning Secretary of Defense Ash Carter's use of personal email for official business, calling the practice "troubling."

Carter's usage of personal email for business was first reported by The New York Times in December and comes in the wake of revelations that former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell, as well as staffers for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, had used private email accounts to conduct government business.
The defense secretary reportedly kept sending private email after Clinton's use of a personal email server was revealed to the public.
    Clinton has been subjected to intense scrutiny over the controversial practice and in the letter, Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said that "the Committee is looking into potential compromises of classified information due to Secretary Clinton's email arrangement."
    Carter later apologized, saying, "Someone in my position should have known better. I did not do the right thing."
    A Pentagon spokesman, Peter Cook, told reporters that all the emails were "copied or forwarded to his official account so it can be preserved as a federal record as appropriate."
    Grassley acknowledged that Carter had called the practice a "mistake" but stressed the risks involved in personal email use. "As the Secretary of Defense, you are inevitably a prime target for foreign hackers," he said.
    The letter asked a series of eight questions investigating the email use, specifically asking whether any classified information had been transmitted or hacked and whether an official government review of the emails had taken place.
    Carter was given 15 days to respond to the inquiry.