Clinton emails: State Dept staff disabled software on their systems

– State Department staffers wrestled for weeks in December 2010 over a serious technical problem that affected emails from then-Secretary Hillary Clinton’s home email server, causing them to temporarily disable security features on the government’s own systems, the Associated Press reports citing emails released Wednesday, June 22.

The emails were released under court order to the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch, which has sued the State Department over access to public records related to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s service as the nation’s top diplomat between 2009 and 2013.

The emails, reviewed by the Associated Press, show that State Department technical staff disabled software on their systems intended to block phishing emails that could deliver dangerous viruses. They were trying urgently to resolve delivery problems with emails sent from Clinton’s private server.

“This should trump all other activities,” a senior technical official, Ken LaVolpe, told IT employees in a Dec. 17, 2010, email. Another senior State Department official, Thomas W. Lawrence, wrote days later in an email that deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin personally was asking for an update about the repairs. Abedin and Clinton, who both used Clinton’s private server, had complained that emails each sent to State Department employees were not being reliably received, AP says.

After technical staffers turned off some security features, Lawrence cautioned in an email, “We view this as a Band-Aid and fear it’s not 100 percent fully effective.”

The AP initially reported Wednesday that the emails described security features being turned off on Clinton’s own private server, but State Department spokesman John Kirby clarified hours later that the emails described “a series of troubleshooting measures to the department’s system — not Secretary Clinton’s system — to attempt to remedy the problem.”