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Hillary Clinton told staff not to use private email (but she could)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) addresses employees during her first full day at the State Department's headquarters January 22, 2009 in Washington, DC.
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) addresses employees during her first full day at the State Department's headquarters January 22, 2009 in Washington, DC.

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton adopted a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitude regarding the use of personal email accounts for business, according to FBI documents released Monday.

The Democratic presidential nominee admittedly sent and received thousands of emails on her personal email account, using a server at her suburban New York home while heading the State Department.

Yet early in her tenure she advised staffers against it.

"Clinton sent out an all-staff cable that personal email should not be used day-to-day for business purposes and that personal email is not secure, so do not use them for business purposes," according to an FBI report released as part of a 100-page document dump. "After Clinton's time as Secretary of State, there was also State guidance that if State employees had to use their personal email for business purposes they should send a carbon copy (Cc) to their ".gov" work email as well."

The documents were part of a probe into whether Clinton broke any laws by sending or receiving classified government materials through her private account. FBI Director James Comey said Clinton was negligent with how she handled emails, but he declined to charge her criminally.

The documents contain other disclosures of policy issues.

One other passage describes how the release of 296 emails through a Freedom of Information Act request was handled improperly, with "at least one" unredacted document containing material that should have been considered classified.

The FBI documents also gave a further glimpse into how technicians set up the private server in Clinton's Chappaqua, New York, home, a setup that Comey in later congressional testimony called "unauthorized." There also was a server set up at Clinton's Whitehaven residence on Embassy Row in Washington.

The "point of presence," or access point, for the Whitehaven server was in the basement, with lines running to a closet in the third floor. Lines then dropped to a second-floor office where the "red phone," or the main secure line to the military, was located. In Chappaqua, the access point also was in the basement, with a line to a "small luggage closet" that ran to equipment locations in the house.

Installers also tried to get Clinton secure lines for the BlackBerry smartphones she and her staff used, but were unable to do so because the devices were too thick and would require "an entirely new infrastructure."

Multiple interviews showed that it was widely known that Clinton was using a personal email account, as two of her predecessors had done, but the technician who installed the Chappaqua server did not know she was using the server for State Department business.