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FACT CHECK: Clinton Misleads Again About Email Scandal

- May 8, 2016

Clinton Falsely Claimed Her Email Server Was "Absolutely Permitted"

This Morning In An Interview On CBS's Face The Nation Clinton Claimed Her Email Server Was "Absolutely Permitted…" CBS's JOHN DICKERSON: "A general election voter will know when Hillary Clinton is the President, in the office and a convenient option arrives maybe she'll think twice about it?" CLINTON: "As I've said many times it was absolutely permitted and I did it and it turned out to be a mistake." (CBS's "Face The Nation," 5/8/16)

Click To Watch

Clinton's Careful Wording Surrounding Her Secret Server Implies That No One Stopped Her, But "That's Not The Same Thing As Lawfully Complying With Rules. "Metcalfe pointed to Clinton's use of the word "allowed" and "opted" throughout a press conference in March about her private email. He said both words give the false impression that the law and its proper implementation presented her with a choice. She might have been "allowed" to use only a private email account in that no one stopped her, Metcalfe said, but that's not the same thing as lawfully complying with rules." (Lauren Carroll, "At Democratic Debate, Clinton Said Private Email Use Was 'Allowed,'" PolitiFact, 10/16/16)

When Clinton Said Her Secret Server Was "Allowed By The State Department," She "Only Reveals Part Of The Story." "Hillary Clinton directly addressed questions in recent interviews about her exclusive use of a personal email account and server to conduct government business as secretary of state. But her answers only reveal part of the story: Clinton said her personal email account was 'allowed by the State Department.' It was permitted if work emails were preserved. Federal rules required Clinton to preserve work emails before she left office, but she did not turn over her emails until 21 months after she left office." (Eugene Kelly, "More Spin On Clinton Emails," FactCheck, 9/8/15)

Clinton's Decision To Use A Secret Server "Flouted State Department Procedures…" In reality, Clinton's decision to use a private e-mail system for official business was highly unusual and flouted State Department procedures, even if not expressly prohibited by law at the time. Moreover, while she claims 'everything I did was permitted,' she appears to have not complied with the requirement to turn over her business-related e-mails before she left government service. That's a major misstep that she has not acknowledged." (Glenn Kessler, "Hillary Clinton's Claim That 'Everything I Did [On Emails] Was Permitted," The Washington Post's Fact Checker , 7/9/15)

The "Narrow" And "Technical" Grounds That Clinton Uses To Justify Her Case, Is "Not The Same As Actually Complying With Existing Rules…" "She appears to be arguing her case on narrow, technical grounds, but that's not the same as actually complying with existing rules as virtually everyone else understood them." (Glenn Kessler, "Hillary Clinton's Claim That 'Everything I Did [On Emails] Was Permitted," The Washington Post's Fact Checker , 7/9/15)

Clinton Falsely Claimed The FBI Is Conducting A "Security Inquiry"

Clinton Also Claimed That Her Secret Server Investigation Is Merely A "Security Inquiry…" CBS's JOHN DICKERSON: "Some voters may be paying attention now in a different kind of way, what's your answer to those people who think, 'Gee, F.B.I. inquiry. That's a big deal.' What do you say to them?" CLINTON: "I say what I've said now for many, many months. It's a security inquiry. I always took classified material seriously. There was never any material marked classified that was sent or received-- by me. And I-- look forward to this being wrapped up." (CBS's "Face The Nation," 5/8/16)

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On February 8, The FBI Confirmed That The Investigation Into Clinton's Secret Server Is Ongoing. "The FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server remained 'ongoing' as of earlier this month, a top FBI official said in a letter filed in federal court Monday." (Josh Gerstein, "FBI: Clinton Email Probe 'Ongoing,'" Politico, 2/8/16)

  • Clinton's Email Investigation Is Criminal In Nature. "Fox News correspondent Ed Henry reported on Thursday the FBI is in fact conducting a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton's email use as secretary of state. 'Our investigations are all criminal,' an FBI spokesman told Peter Barnes. The Clinton campaign inaccurately claimed the agency's investigation of her private server is not criminal in nature." (Daniel Bassali, "FBI Confirms: Investigation Of Clinton Email Server A 'Criminal Probe,'" The Washington Free Beacon, 8/6/16)
  • The F.B.I.'s Focus Is On Whether Clinton's Emails Broke The Law. "F.B.I. focus on whether disputed Clinton emails broke the law, but deciding won't be simple." (New York Times Politics, Twitter Feed, 9/24/15)

The Justice Department Granted Immunity To Clinton's Staffer Who Set Up Her Secret Server. " The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the Justice Department has granted immunity to the staffer who set up the server, Bryan Pagliano, so that he would be willing to speak with investigators." (Eric Tucker, "Clinton Email Probe Fraught With Political Consequences," The Associated Press , 3/3/16)

  • Pagliano's Immunity Was Granted As Part Of A Criminal Investigation. " The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton's private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official." (Adam Goldman, "Justice Dept. Grants Immunity To Staffer Who Set Up Clinton Email Server," The Washington Post , 3/2/16)

Clinton Dodged On Whether FBI Will Question Her After Reports Confirmed They Will

Clinton Also Dodged On Whether The FBI Will Question Her As Part Of Their Investigation. CBS's JOHN DICKERSON: "Let me ask you about developments in the investigation into your email server. Apparently the F.B.I. has-- contacted your team in terms of talking to you. What can you tell us about that?" CLINTON: "No one has reached out to me yet, but last summer, I think last August, I made it clear I'm more than ready to talk to anybody, anytime. And I've encouraged-- all of-- you know, my-- assistants and-- to be-- very forthcoming. And I hope that this is close to being wrapped up." (CBS's " Face The Nation," 5/8/16)

Click To Watch

CBS News Headline: "Hillary Clinton To Be Interviewed In FBI Email Investigation" ("Hillary Clinton To Be Interviewed In FBI Email Investigation," CBS News, 5/6/16)

Clinton Will Be Interviewed By The FBI "Within The Coming Weeks…" "A source has confirmed to CBS News that Hillary Clinton will be interviewed by the FBI within the coming weeks, in connection with the investigation into her private email server." ("Hillary Clinton To Be Interviewed In FBI Email Investigation," CBS News, 5/6/16)

  • "One Of The Final And Most Anticipated Steps In The Probe Is An Interview Of The Former Secretary Of State." "One of the final and most anticipated steps in the probe is an interview of the former secretary of state. The fact that Clinton is a presidential candidate active on the campaign trail presents some logistical challenges for the FBI, which has been quietly bringing witnesses into an FBI office without drawing attention." (Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Shimon Prokupecz, "First On CNN: FBI Interviews Clinton Aides Including Huma Abedin As Part Of Email Probe," CNN, 5/5/16)

"Clinton's Closest Aides" Have Been Interviewed By Federal Investigators. "Some of Hillary Clinton's closest aides, including her longtime adviser Huma Abedin, have provided interviews to federal investigators, as the FBI probe into the security of her private email server nears completion, U.S. officials briefed on the investigation tell CNN." (Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Shimon Prokupecz, "First On CNN: FBI Interviews Clinton Aides Including Huma Abedin As Part Of Email Probe," CNN, 5/5/16)

The FBI Has "Been Quietly Bringing Witnesses Into An FBI Office Without Drawing Attention." "The fact that Clinton is a presidential candidate active on the campaign trail presents some logistical challenges for the FBI, which has been quietly bringing witnesses into an FBI office without drawing attention." (Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Shimon Prokupecz, "First On CNN: FBI Interviews Clinton Aides Including Huma Abedin As Part Of Email Probe," CNN, 5/5/16)


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