– Hillary Clinton broke government rules by using a private email server without approval for her work as U.S. secretary of state, an internal government watchdog said on Wednesday, May 25, Reuters reports.
The long-awaited report by the State Department inspector general was the first official audit of the controversial arrangement to be made public. It was highly critical of Clinton’s use of a server in her home, and immediately fueled Republican attacks on Clinton, the Democratic front-runner in an already acrimonious presidential race.
The report, which also found problems in department record-keeping practices before Clinton’s tenure, undermined Clinton’s earlier defenses of her emails, likely adding to Democratic anxieties about public perceptions of the candidate. A majority of voters say Clinton is dishonest, according to multiple polls.
The report concluded that Clinton would not have been allowed to use the server in her home had she asked the department officials in charge of information security. The report said that staff who later raised concerns were told to keep quiet. Several suspected hacking attempts in 2011 were never reported to department information security officials, in breach of department rules, it said, according to Reuters.
The report contradicted Clinton’s repeated assertion that her server was allowed and that no permission was needed. Several other inquiries continue, including a U.S. Justice Department investigation into whether the arrangement broke laws.