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The Rules Apply?

- September 3, 2015

As The State Department Grudgingly Admits Its Foreign Affairs Manual Applied To Clinton, Did She Follow The Rules?

AFTER REPEATED QUESTIONS, THE STATE DEPARTMENT FINALLY ADMITTED THE SECRETARY OF STATE MUST FOLLOW THE DEPARTMENT'S FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL

MONDAY'S DODGE: The State Department Wouldn't Say If Clinton Was Subject To The Agency's Foreign Affairs Manual. REPORTER: "Two other quick things. One is, do you believe as a general matter that the Secretary of State, whomever he or she may be, is bound by the rules in the Foreign Affairs Manual, or not? It maybe that they're not, that they have sort of a status that's different and that therefore they have the right to not follow it." MARK TONER: "I mean, I would just say that every State Department employee from the Secretary on down takes the handling of classified information very seriously and is aware of the rules surrounding those classification standards."(Mark Toner, State Department Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 8/31/15)

TUESDAY'S DODGE: The State Department Won't Say If Any Secretary Of State Is Bound By The Foreign Affairs Manual . REPORTER: "I'm going to ask you to take on other question, it's a question that I asked the other day and I'd like to ask if the State Department will take a policy position on this, not with regard to Former Secretary Clinton, but with regard to current and past Secretaries of State. And that is, whether it is the view of the department, that the Secretary of State is bound by the rules laid out in the Foreign Affairs Manual?" TONER: "Ok. I mean I…" REPORTER: "As a general principle, do they apply to the Secretary of State, or not? Or do they apply selectively? That is the question." TONER: "Ok, I will get you an answer to that." (State Department Press Briefing, 9/1/15)

TODAY'S ADMISSION: The State Department Finally Admitted The Foreign Affairs Manual Rules Regarding The Handling Of Classified Information Applied To The Secretary Of State. REPORTER: "I had asked you a question the other day and you said you would get me an answer to it and the question is whether the Foreign Affairs Manual applies to secretaries of state. Does it?" MARK TONER: "So I did do some research into this, as did others. It is… The Foreign Affairs Manual is not comprehensive nor is it a bible for all Foreign Service officers or civil servants. What do I mean by that? I mean it's not… For example there is things in there about reimbursement of the use of your private vehicle, certainly that doesn't apply to the Secretary of State. Or many people within the State Department, what's contained in the Foreign Affairs Manual and I apologize, this is kind of in the weeds question, all of that is not necessarily relevant to for example ambassadors or secretaries of state or senior department officials. If I can say what I think the essence of your question was and I'm sorry if this is presumptive was whether they are bound by the responsibility to protect classified information. That certainly is true, that any Secretary of State, any senior State Department official is bound by that then I spoke about this the other day that any individual whether you're the Secretary of State on down takes that responsibility seriously." ( State Department Press Briefing, 9/3/15)

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CLINTON'S HANDLING OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION APPEARS TO VIOLATE SEVERAL FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL REGULATIONS

Clinton: "I Fully Complied With Every Rule That I Was Governed By." CLINTON: "I don't think - I'd be happy to have somebody talk to you about the rules. I fully complied with every rule that I was governed by." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The United Nations, New York, NY, 3/10/15)

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The Foreign Affairs Manual Forbid Classified Information From Being Stored In Residences "For Reasons Of Personal Convenience"

Clinton: "First, When I Got To Work As Secretary Of State, I Opted For Convenience To Use My Personal Email Account…" CLINTON: "First, when I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two. Looking back, it would've been better if I'd simply used a second email account and carried a second phone, but at the time, this didn't seem like an issue." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The United Nations, New York, NY, 3/10/15)

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Clinton: "I Chose To Use An Email For Convenience When I Was Secretary Of State." CLINTON: "Well, actually it's not complicated. In fact, if you can cut through the efforts to make it complicated, it is pretty straightforward. I chose to use an email for convenience when I was Secretary of State." (Hillary Clinton, Interview With WHO-DM, 7/27/15)

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According To A State Department Regulation In Effect During Clinton's Tenure (12 FAM 531), "Classified Material Should Not Be Stored At A Facility Outside The Chancery, Consulate, Etc., Merely For Convenience." "Classified material should not be stored at a facility outside the chancery, consulate, etc., merely for convenience. In order to store classified material, a post must demonstrate to the regional security officer (RSO) a legitimate need to have material at a given location, as well as provide a justification for the level of classified material to be stored." ("12 FAM 531 General," U.S. Department Of State Foreign Affairs Manual, 5/14/10; Web Archive, 10/13/12)

Clinton's Sever "Was Physically Located On Her Property." "Where was the server for her email located? The server for her email was physically located on her property, which is protected by U.S. Secret Service." (Press Release, "Statement From The Office Of Former Secretary Clinton," Office Of Hillary Rodham Clinton, 3/10/15; FactCheck.org, Accessed 7/24/15)

According To A State Department Regulation Established In 2012 (12 FAM 533.1), "Residences Are Not Considered Official Premises. You Must Not Remove Classified Material For Reasons Of Personal Convenience…" "You must not remove classified material from official premises except when necessary in conducting official meetings, conferences, or consultations, and you must return this material to safe storage facilities immediately upon the conclusion of the meeting, conference, or consultation. Residences are not considered official premises. You must not remove classified material for reasons of personal convenience or keep it overnight in personal custody." ("12 FAM 533.1 Overnight Custody," U.S. Department Of State Foreign Affairs Manual, 1/31/12)

The Foreign Affairs Manual Stipulates That "Each Employee, Irrespective Of Rank Must Certify" That Classified Material "Is Not In Their Household Or Personal Effects"

According To A State Department Regulation Established In 2012 (12 FAM 533.2), "Each Employee, Irrespective Of Rank Must Certify" That Classified Information "Is Not In Their Household Or Personal Effects." "When departing a post upon transfer, resignation, or retirement, each employee, irrespective of rank, must certify as part of the post clearance procedure that: (1) They are not taking classified material from the post through any other than authorized means; (2) Such material is not in their household or personal effects; and (3) Such material will not be mailed or otherwise transmitted in violation of 12 FAM 536.10." ("12 FAM 533.2 Certification Upon Permanent Departure From Post," U.S. Department Of State Foreign Affairs Manual, 1/31/12)


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