An audit conducted by the State Department Inspector General cited "longstanding, systematic weaknesses" in Hillary Clinton and the State Department's email use and their slow response to cybersecurity risks.
The 78-page report on the cyber-activities of the State Department faulted the agency and its officials for poor use of electronic services.
The report, obtained by the Associated Press, was started before Clinton's appointment and found fault with previous secretaries of state, but focused on her failures as more serious than than those of her predecessors.
The report says the department was ''slow to recognize and to manage effectively the legal requirements and cybersecurity risks associated with electronic data communications, particularly as those risks pertain to its most senior leadership.''
About Clinton specifically, the report says, "At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department issues before leaving government service."
"Because she did not do so, she did not comply with the [State] Department's policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."
The review was released following criticisms of Clinton for exclusively using a private email account and server while in office. Clinton is now the likely Democratic presidential nominee.
Spokesperson for the Clinton campaign Brian Fallon said in a statement Wednesday that the report does not fault Clinton's actions as Secretary of State, but rather demonstrates a larger, "longstanding" problem with the State Department's electronic recordkeeping systems.
"Hillary Clinton's use of personal email was not unique," Fallon said, "and she took steps that went much further than others to appropriately preserve and release her records."
Read the full statement:
While political opponents of Hillary Clinton are sure to misrepresent this report for their own partisan purposes, in reality, the Inspector General documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other Secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email.
The report shows that problems with the State Department's electronic recordkeeping systems were longstanding and that there was no precedent of someone in her position having a State Department email account until after the arrival of her successor. Contrary to the false theories advanced for some time now, the report notes that her use of personal email was known to officials within the Department during her tenure, and that there is no evidence of any successful breach of the Secretary's server.
We agree that steps ought to be taken to ensure the government can better maintain official records, and if she were still at the State Department, Secretary Clinton would embrace and implement any recommendations, including those in this report, to help do that.
But as this report makes clear, Hillary Clinton's use of personal email was not unique, and she took steps that went much further than others to appropriately preserve and release her records.
Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Ema O'Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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