Politics & Policy

Court Filing: State Department Let Hillary Clinton Use Personal Smartphone

Then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton in Hanoi, July 2010. (Na Son Nguyen/Getty)

Hillary Clinton was not issued a secure government smartphone during her tenure as secretary of state, the government acknowledged today in a court filing to a federal judge.

“[The State Department] does not believe that any personal computing device was issued by the Department to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has not located any such device at the Department,” Joseph MacManus, executive secretary of the State Department, attested in a statement to U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on Wednesday.

Clinton said that she used only one phone in March, when she first addressed the revelation that she’d conducted all of her government business via a personal e-mail account housed on a private server. MacManus’s statement is further evidence that the State Department acquiesced to Clinton’s communications practices by failing to even issue her the standard devices. And it raises more questions about the security of the personal device Clinton used.

MacManus acknowledged that two top Clinton aides, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, were given appropriate phones, but suggested they have been destroyed. “[The State Department] believes that Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin were each issued BlackBerry devices,” MacManus said. “[The State Department] has not located any such device at the Department. . . . Because the devices issued to Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin would have been outdated models, in accordance with standard operating procedures those devices would have been destroyed or excessed.”

#related#The filing is the latest salvo in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit watchdog group seeking e-mails sent by Clinton and her team in relation to the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Judge Sullivan has scheduled a special hearing for Thursday to question the State Department over its foot-dragging on his orders and the Judicial Watch requests.

— Joel Gehrke is a political reporter for National Review.

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