A report in the New York Times has revealed that the Justice Department has been asked to open a criminal investigation regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails. Mrs. Clinton has found her presidential run clouded by the use of a personal email account during her time as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. The criminal probe would be used to determine whether sensitive government information was mishandled by her use of the account.
The request was reportedly made by two inspectors general for the State Department investigating the matter, according to senior government officials. Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email account for official State Department business became common knowledge back in March. Mrs. Clinton has said she used the account because it was more convenient. After her use of the account became public, it was disclosed that thousands of pages of State Department emails were present in the account.
A recent assessment by the inspectors general and the intelligence agencies found that Mrs. Clinton’s private account contained “hundreds of potentially classified emails.” The agencies’ findings were sent to Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management, in a memo on June 29. The use of the private account may have shielded sensitive correspondence from congressional and Freedom of Information Act requests. State Department officials are now reviewing roughly 55,000 pages of emails from the account.
It is yet unknown whether any of the information in the emails sent or received by Mrs. Clinton was marked as classified by the State Department. Mrs. Clinton has stated several times that there was no classified information on the account. On Friday, a campaign spokesman for Mrs. Clinton released a statement that said, “Any released emails deemed classified by the administration have been done so after the fact, and not at the time they were transmitted.”
About 3,000 pages of those emails were made public on June 30. In a second memo, sent to Mr. Kennedy on July 17, the inspectors general said that classified information was present in at least one email made public by the State Department, but further details were not included. According to the officials, the Justice Department has not yet decided if an investigation will be opened.