Clinton’s Email Security Procedures Won’t Be Released Until After the Election

The State Department says it needs a year and a half to turn over documents about Hillary Clinton's email procedures.

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May 5 2016, 10:00am

Image: Gary Smith/Flickr

The State Department says it won't release any documents relating to Hillary Clinton's email security procedures and protocol until after the November presidential election.

In March 2015, soon after Clinton's secret personal email account was reported by the New York Times, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the State Department asking for "communications, presentations, and procedures created by the State Department to secure Hillary Clinton's email from electronic threats." I filed a separate FOIA asking for emails sent to her personal @clintonemail.com account.

In May 2015, the State Department started releasing some of those emails, which has been an ongoing process sped along thanks to a VICE News FOIA lawsuit. But the department still hasn't released documents about what procedures—if any—Clinton was supposed to use to keep emails on her server secure, a question that's all the more important considering that Romanian hacker Guccifer claimed in an interview Wednesday that he repeatedly breached her account.

The agency has emailed me a few times, saying that it's working to "make the maximum number of records available in the shortest amount of time," and in October told me that it would respond to my request in January. That date came and went, and I finally got another update earlier this week: The new deadline for the request is December 2016.

December 2016, of course, is just after the election for the next president of the United States. The FOIA process is a notorious mess, but it is patently ridiculous that records pertaining to the security practices of someone who stands a very good chance of running the country—and thus being in possession of highly sensitive documents at all times—won't be made available to the public a year and a half after they were requested.

Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders famously said the American people are "sick and tired of hearing about [her] damn emails," which might largely be the case, but the FBI is actively investigating whether Clinton violated any laws with her personal email server, which was a revelation that came out thanks to a VICE News FOIA and lawsuit. Clinton has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The question of whether her emails were secure while on her personal server has repeatedly been raised, and any specific security measures and protocols the State Department drew up would be a pretty good place to start. It's actually now a more important question than ever, considering that the Romanian hacker Guccifer claimed in a jailhouse interview with Fox News Wednesday that he personally hacked into Clinton's personal email account. The claims have not been independently verified.