21:51 GMT29 March 2020
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    Elijah E. Cummings, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released Wednesday the full letter from former US Secretary of State Colin Powell to his successor, Hillary Clinton, advising her to use a personal email by way of getting around the bureaucracy of the State Department.

    The essence of Powell's words regards a strategy of conducting business as well as methods of avoiding government archiving rules.

    Cummings stated, "This email exchange shows that Secretary Powell advised Secretary Clinton with a detailed blueprint on how to skirt security rules and bypass requirements to preserve federal records, although Secretary Clinton has made clear that she did not rely on this advice. This email exchange also illustrates the longstanding problem that no Secretary of State ever used an official unclassified email account until the current Secretary of State."

    In 2014 the State Department asked then-Secretary of State Powell to provide records from his personal account that were absent in the state system. Later Powell announced that he did not have any personal accounts and any cache. As for the State's request to contact his provider for checking for his emails on their system, Powell did not venture to reply.

    He justified himself later saying, "Secretary Clinton has stated that she was not influenced by my email in making her decisions on email use. I was not trying to influence her but just to explain what I had done eight years earlier to begin the transformation of the State Department's information system."

    As for Clinton, she refrained from setting up a State Department email address and elected to use a personal email account on a personal server for her correspondence, a move classified by FBI Director James Comey as "extremely careless."


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    email scandal, State Department, Elijah Cummings, Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, United States
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