What Happened While Clinton
Was Secretary of State
Mrs. Clinton becomes secretary of state and begins using email@example.com, an email account housed on aprivate server. At the time, the State Department’s policy stated that “normal day-to-day operations” were to be conducted on an authorized system.
Federal record-keeping guidelines for the use of personal accounts are tightened, requiring that any such records be preserved in federal systems.
A United States diplomatic outpost and a C.I.A. facility in Benghazi, Libya, are attacked. Four Americans are killed.
The chairman of the House Oversight Committee asks Mrs. Clinton in a letter if she has used a private email account. She does not reply. The State Department later responds, without answering the question.
Mrs. Clinton leaves office. Four months later, State Department staff members reviewing the Benghazi attacks discover correspondence, for the first time, between her private email account and the government accounts of her immediate staff.
An Investigation Into the
Benghazi Attacks Puts More
Focus on Clinton’s Emails
Hearings on Benghazi spur the House speaker, John A. Boehner, to create a special select committee to investigate the attacks and how the government responded.
Officials begin negotiating with Mrs. Clinton’s representatives, including her former chief of staff, Cheryl D. Mills, to obtain all of her emails. Ms. Mills says Mrs. Clinton will turn them over, but cautions that it will take some time.
The State Department provides the select committee on Benghazi with 15,000 pages of documents, including a handful of emails from Mrs. Clinton, all from her private account. The committee asks for the rest of the emails.
Clinton Hands Over Emails, and
They Are Eventually Made Public
After a formal request by the State Department, Mrs. Clinton hands over 55,000 printed pagesof more than 30,000 emails.
During a hearing of the Benghazi committee, State Department officials are criticized for not providing all documentsrelated to the investigation. Two weeks later, they hand over roughly 900 pages of emails.
February and March 2015
Before The New York Times publishes an article about Mrs. Clinton’s personal email account, the State Department tells committee investigators that she relied on it exclusively as secretary of state. Soon after, Mrs. Clinton announces that she has asked the State Department to release emails from the 30,000 she handed over, and says that she deleted another 32,000 personal messages.
Mrs. Clinton announces her candidacy for president.
As the Campaign Continues,
Classified Information Is Discovered
Government investigators say they found classified information in emails from Mrs. Clinton’s server. The emails were not marked classified at the time, and it is unclear if Mrs. Clinton knew that the information was classified. The investigators refer the matter to the Justice Department, and shortly thereafter the F.B.I. opens an investigation.
The State Department announces that it will not release 22 emails that contain “top secret” material. The classifications of the emails were increased after the fact; they were not marked when they were sent. Three days later, the first presidential primary is held in Iowa.
The State Department’s inspector general releases a report criticizing Mrs. Clinton’s use of the private server, saying that she should have asked for approval and that she had violated department policies by not surrendering her emails before leaving office.
Oct. 28, 2016
The F.B.I. announced that it had discovered new emails relevant to the closed investigation into whether Mrs. Clinton or her staff had mishandled classified information. James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, wrote that the agency was working to determine if the new emails “contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”
How Many Investigations and
Legal Proceedings Are Happening?
An F.B.I. investigation into whether any laws were broken in the handling of classified information has concluded, and while the agency recommended no charges against Ms. Clinton over her use of email, it was called “extremely careless.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch affirmed that she would accept the recommendation and that the Department of Justice would not seek criminal charges. On Sept. 3, the F.B.I. released a document summarizing its interview with Mrs. Clinton and a memorandum about the investigation.
Judicial Watch lawsuits
A conservative legal advocacy group, Judicial Watch, has brought several lawsuits against the State Department under the Freedom of Information Act for records relating to Mrs. Clinton’s tenure, including the special employment status of Mrs. Clinton’s top aide at the department, Huma Abedin. One of the suits resulted in an order by a federal judge on Aug. 22 for the State Department to provide a timetable to hand over 15,000 previously unreleased emails.
Congressional and agency reports
On June 28, the select committee on Benghazi issued its final report, which found no new evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya. Separate inquiries by the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community may also result in reports.
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