A timeline of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
2008 – The server used for clintonemail.com is registered under the name Eric Hoteham. This is presumably a misspelling of Eric Hothem, the name of a former Clinton aide.
2009 – Government employees are allowed to use private emails for government work. However, this practice is strongly discouraged. If using a private email, “the agency must ensure that federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency record-keeping system.”
January 13, 2009 – The domain clintonemail.com is registered in the name of longtime adviser to former President Bill Clinton, Justin Cooper. Hillary Clinton’s email is set up as firstname.lastname@example.org
November 2012 – Clinton’s private email server was redesigned to use Google as the backup server.
December 13, 2012 – Congressional investigators ask Clinton if she uses a personal email.
March 20, 2013 – Gawker reports that based on emails retrieved by a Romanian hacker called “Guccifer,” Clinton used the “clintonemail.com” domain name in emails to advisers and friends. Because her original address is revealed in the article, Clinton changes her email address.
July 2013 – Clinton’s email server is changed once again to be backed up by a McAfee-owned company.
September 2013 – National Archives and Records Administration clarifies that personal email can only be used in “emergency situations” and that emails from personal accounts should be captured and managed in accordance with agency record-keeping practices.
2014 – The State Department requests that all former secretaries of state “submit any records in their possession for proper preservation.”
Also in 2014, at the request of the State Department, Clinton hands over 55,000 pages — approximately 30,000 emails. Left out were emails deemed by her and her staff to be “personal.”
December 1, 2014 – President Barack Obama signs an update to the Federal Records Act that clarified how private emails are allowed to be used. According to the National Archives and Records Administration, this update prohibits “the use of private email accounts by government officials unless they copy or forward any such emails into their government account within 20 days.”
March 3, 2015 – Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill says:
- “… like secretaries of state before her, she used her own email account when engaging with any department officials.”
- “For government business, she emailed them on their department accounts, with every expectation they would be retained. When the department asked former secretaries last year for help ensuring their emails were in fact retained, we immediately said yes.”
- “Both the letter and spirit of the rules permitted State Department officials to use non-government email, as long as appropriate records were preserved.”
March 3, 2015 – State Department spokeswoman Maria Harf says: “[There’s] no indication that Secretary Clinton used her personal email account for anything but unclassified purposes … While Secretary Clinton did not have a classified email system, she did have multiple other ways of communicating in a classified manner, including assistants printing documents for her, secure phone calls and secure video conferences.”
The same day, the House committee investigating the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, issues a subpoena for Clinton’s Libya-related emails.
March 5, 2015 – It is revealed that Clinton isn’t publicly registered as the owner of the domain and server used to operate her personal email. This makes it more difficult to trace the account back to her. Accounts were registered in her aides’ names, and she used a proxy company to shield her involvement.
March 6, 2015 – The State Department begins reviewing emails to determine what can be publicly released, not whether Clinton did anything wrong.
March 10, 2015 – Clinton holds a 20-minute “press encounter” at the United Nations, saying:
- “At the end, I chose not to keep my private personal emails – emails about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes …”
- “I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”
- “Looking back, it would have been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone, but at the time, this didn’t seem like an issue.”
- Clinton wouldn’t disclose how her emails were encrypted, “given what people with ill intentions can do with such information in this day and age, there are concerns about broadcasting specific technical details about past and current practices.”
- “I trust the American people to make their decisions about political and public matters, and I feel like I’ve taken unprecedented steps for these emails to be in the public domain. I went above and beyond what I was requested to do.”
March 12, 2015 – State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki tells reporters the State Department would remove any emails “deemed not to be agency records.”
March 27, 2015 – Rep. Trey Gowdy makes the statement, “Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server.”
Clinton’s lawyer responds in a letter that she “has maintained and preserved copies” of work-related or potentially work-related emails that were turned over to the State Department late in 2014. The lawyer, David Kendall, also stated that federal law governing record retention requires that each federal employee individually decide what emails must be preserved.
March 31, 2015 – It is revealed that Clinton used both an iPad and a Blackberry for email, allegedly contradicting the statement she made on March 10 about not wanting to carry multiple devices.
April 15, 2015 – It is discovered that Clinton ignored questions from Congress in 2012 about her email.
May 19, 2015 – The State Department says it will need until January 2016 to release all the emails. They propose the date of January 15, 2016. A US district court judge suggests rolling releases.
May 21, 2015 – The government’s chief records officer says more than 1,200 of the emails Clinton gave them were deemed to be personal and not part of the federal record.
May 26, 2015 – A federal judge orders the State Department to start releasing portions of the 30,000 emails starting June 30 and continuing every 30 days until January 29, 2016.
June 3, 2015 – Newly released emails suggest that the National Archives and Record Administration had contacted the State Department about the preservation of Clinton’s emails before she left office.
June 25, 2015 – The State Department is missing all or part of 15 emails from Clinton’s longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal that were released by the House panel investigating Benghazi.
July 7, 2015 – CNN’s Brianna Keilar has an exclusive interview with Clinton. In response to being asked about deleting 33,000 emails while under investigation by a House panel, Clinton says other secretaries of state had done the same thing. Clinton also says she was never subpoenaed by the House.
July 17, 2015 – In a letter, the State Department inspector general Steve A. Linick says his office is reviewing “the use of personal communications hardware and software by five secretaries of state and their immediate staffs.” The Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General is assisting in the review.