Hillary Clinton's communications as secretary of the State Department may have broken the rules. She used a personal email account, the New York Times reports, and it seems she didn't have a government one. The Federal Records Act says her emails should have been held on government servers, but her staff didn't move to put them there, the Times notes. "It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario—short of nuclear winter—where an agency would be justified in allowing its Cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business," says a lawyer formerly with the National Archives and Records Administration, noting that he can't remember another case in which a top executive-branch official opted to use only a private account.
Government emails are supposed to be available when congressional committees or journalists need them. But not until two months ago did staffers go through a trove of Clinton emails and provide 55,000 pages' worth to the government; that came after a State Department request to former secretaries for records, a department spokeswoman tells Politico. What's more, "personal emails are not secure," notes a transparency advocate. Indeed, the Washington Post notes that a hacker revealed a Clinton adviser was corresponding with an address at the "clintonemail.com" domain—which was registered as Clinton's confirmation hearings began in 2009. Meanwhile, fellow 2016 hopeful Jeb Bush released a vast collection of his own emails—he, too, used a personal email account, but the media could request information from it, the Tampa Bay Times notes. "Transparency matters. Unclassified @HillaryClinton emails should be released. You can see mine, here. jebbushemails.com," Bush tweeted.