Defense Secretary Ash Carter reportedly used his own personal email to conduct government business, even after former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s private email was revealed.
Clinton’s email use was revealed in March 2015, and it eventually resulted in an FBI investigation into whether Clinton compromised national security by sending and receiving classified information on an unsecured network.
After filing a Freedom of Information Act request, CNN reported that it received 1,336 pages of emails sent and received from Carter’s personal address through Sept. 2015, and that “many of the emails had redacted information.”
The New York Times first revealed Carter’s use of private email for government business in December, noting that the extent of his use was not known, and that at the time it was believed that he it continued only two months after Clinton’s email use was revealed.
While the reality was the Carter continued to use his personal email account for four months after the revelations regarding Clinton’s email were publicly scrutinized, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook insisted that Carter’s emails “show that he did not email anything classified and all of his work-related emails are preserved within the federal records system.”
“In December, when this issue first came up, the secretary took responsibility for his actions and publicly acknowledged that his previous use of personal email for work-related business was a mistake,” Cook said in a statement. “As a result, he stopped such use of his personal email and further limited his use of email altogether.”
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sent a letter to the Department of Defense on Friday questioned why the DoD has yet to respond to his committee’s inquiries, and threatening to subpoena Carter for answers:
“Now, three months after my initial request, it is difficult to understand why the department has not been willing to provide detailed answers, and the department has not asserted a valid reason to withhold that information from the committee. Please provide the information I requested as soon as possible, but no later than March 25, 2016 Otherwise, the committee may use compulsory process to obtain documents and communications that will answer the questions that were initially raised on December 18, 2015.”