Hillary Clinton’s reason for refusing an interview with the State Department about her use of a personal email server should have been a red flag.
A video clip has resurfaced of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick testifying before the House Oversight Committee on July 7th, 2016, in which he revealed that Hillary Clinton refused an interview request related to her email investigation.
Below is a partial transcript of the exchange between then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Linick.
Chaffetz: Were you able to interview Hillary Clinton?
Chaffetz: Why not?
Linick: Well, we asked to interview secretary Clinton. We interviewed all of the secretaries. We looked at five Secretaries of State going back to Madeleine Albright and her, through counsel, she declined to meet with us.
Chaffetz: Did she indicate a reason why she would refuse to meet with the inspector general?
Linick: Her counsel informed our staff that she had — that all of the information about the e-mail was on the FAQ she published by her campaign.
This isn’t the first time Linick raised concerns about Clinton’s email usage, the GP reports.
July 17, 2015 — In a letter, the State Department inspector general Steve A. Linick says his office is reviewing “the use of personal communications hardware and software by five secretaries of state and their immediate staffs.” The Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General is assisting in the review. [..]
March 10, 2016 — In a letter addressed to the Inspector General of National Intelligence Charles McCullough II and Inspector General of the Department of State Steve Linick, a group of Democratic senators express concerns about the impartiality of the investigations into Clinton’s email server.
Surprising enough, the New York Times briefly covered Clinton’s stunning refusal during the campaign:
Mrs. Clinton and her aides have played down the inquiries, saying that she would cooperate with investigators to put the email issue behind her. Even so, she declined to be interviewed by the inspector general, Steve A. Linick, or his staff, as part of his review. So did several of her senior aides.
A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, Brian Fallon, did not respond to a request for comment about her refusal, among other questions. In a written statement, he said that the report showed that her use of a private email account was “not unique,” citing the use of personal emails by some of her predecessors. “She took steps that went much further than others to appropriately preserve and release her records,” the statement said.
Howard Krongard, the State Department Inspector General from April 2005 to January 2008, told Fox News last May that Clinton did not follow standard practices in respect to private email usage.
“Certainly to my knowledge at least, Secretary Rice did not have a personal server. I certainly never either sent an email to one or received an email from one,” Krongard told Fox News
“I would have been stunned had I been asked to send an email to her at a personal server, private address. I would have declined to do so on security grounds and if she had sent one to me, I probably would have started an investigation,” added Krongard.
The clip has resurfaced as the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the email investigation looms.