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Discovered in the recent batch of emails from Hillary Clinton's private server is an communication from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to Clinton informing her how he used his own private email account during his time at the State Department.
Clinton has said in the past that Powell advised her early on in her time as Secretary of State about email use, although Powell says he didn't remember any such communications.
Up to now, this has been a question of who's telling the truth? Did Powell advise Clinton on email use or not?
Well, now we know.
From the New York Daily News:
Emails released by House Democrat Elijah Cummings Wednesday evening showed Powell, Secretary of State under the George W. Bush administration, answering a question from Clinton about smartphone use.
“Be very careful,” Powell told Clinton in a January 2009 exchange, saying that using a BlackBerry for State Department work could make the messages “part of the official record and subject to the law.”
He also admitted to going around State Department servers in diplomatic discussions.
Clinton had asked her predecessor about restrictions on BlackBerry use in the department, though Powell replied that didn’t have the device and used a computer hooked up to private phone line to communicate with friends.
“I even used it to do business with some foreign leader and some of the senior foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the Department on their personal email accounts,” he wrote.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, who released the exchange as a member of the House Oversight Committee, said that the exchange shows “Secretary Powell advised Secretary Clinton with a detailed blueprint on how to skirt security rules and bypass requirements to preserve federal records.”
From the email dated January 23, 2009 (see above):
“What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient.) So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without going through the State Department servers. I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the Department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels.”