SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice could go as far as dismantling the Ferguson Police Department to ensure change after the DOJ report that found it discriminated against blacks in the Missouri city.
“We are prepared to use all the powers that we have, all the power that we have to ensure that the situation changes there and that means everything from working with them to you know coming up with an entirely new structure,” Holder told reporters on the tarmac of Andrews Air Force Base Friday.
Asked if that includes dismantling the police department, Holder said, “If that's what's necessary, we're prepared to do that."
Earlier in the day, Ferguson’s mayor announced the city’s court clerk was fired and two police officers resigned after the three allegedly sent vulgar and racist e-mails. The changes came two days after the DOJ report found Ferguson police systematically discriminated against blacks.
Speaking in South Carolina Friday, President Obama defended the Justice Department’s findings, saying its investigation into racial bias by the department was “very clear.”
“What we saw was that Ferguson police department in conjunction with municipality saw traffic stops, arrests, and tickets as revenue generators as opposed to serving,” the president said at a town hall at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. The president added the overwhelmingly white force was “systematically” biased, placing minorities under its care into an “oppressive and abusive situation.”
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced it would not pursue charges against Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer responsible for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- A town hall discussion with President Obama on expanding youth opportunities in their communities was taken a bit too literally Friday when a 10-year-old asked how he, too, could become the leader of the free world.
"I was just wondering, you know, I'm 10. And I was just wondering when you know, you were interested in being a president," the boy asked.
When Obama asked the boy if he was thinking of a run, the child shyly responded, "A little."
"All right. Well, I mean, you're definitely ahead of me," Obama said, chucking. "Now just remember, you got to wait until you're 35. That's in the Constitution. So you've got at least 25 years to prepare."
The president told the child that when he was his age he thought he wanted to be an architect, "building buildings," and "then I went through a bunch of stuff and, for a while, I thought I might be a basketball player and it turned out I was too slow and I couldn't jump and so I stopped thinking that. And then I became interested in being a lawyer. And I did become a lawyer."
But Obama said the child's favorite school subject, "social studies," was a good start.
"I think the most important thing is to just make sure that you work hard in school. I think it's really good if you, you know, get involved in like some service projects and, you know, help out people in your community, whether it is through the Scouts or your church or some other -- or school, some other programs so that you get used to trying to help other people.
Make sure you graduate from college. And then, who knows? You might end up being the -- I might just be warming up the seat for you.
And if you become president, I want you to remind everybody how, when you talked to President Obama, he said go for it.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Justice filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court on Friday urging the justices to rule that bans on same-sex marriages violate the constitution.
In the department's 46-page filing, it says that "the United States has a strong interest in the eradication of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation." Further, "the refusal of...states to recognize current or prospective marriages has prevented petititoners from realizing the wide range of tangible and intangible benefits that marriage provides."
Arguing that bans on same-sex marriage "inhibit their ability to raise children in a recognized two-parent family" and "deny lesbian and gay couples many other advantages under state law," the DOJ insists it hopes to see the Supreme Court take its side in one of this summer's most highly-anticipated cases.
The DOJ concludes that a ban on same-sex marriages "crystallizes in an acutely painful way the stigma that lesbian and gay adolescents experience as they come to understand that an essential attribute of their being marks them for second-class status." Such a ban, the department concludes, violates the Equal Protection Clause.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- A day before marking the 50th anniversary of the historic Selma civil rights march, and two days after the Department of Justice released a scathing report about racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, President Obama defended his administration’s decision not to prosecute the officer behind the controversial shooting death Michael Brown.
“The finding that was made [by the Department of Justice] was that it was not unreasonable to determine that there was not sufficient evidence to charge Officer [Darren] Wilson. That was an objective, thorough, independent federal investigation,” Obama said in response to a question at a town hall discussion on expanding minority youth opportunities, in South Carolina.
“We may never know exactly what happened. But Officer Wilson, like anybody else who is charged with a crime, benefits from due process and a reasonable doubt standard. And if there is uncertainty about what happened then you can’t just charge them anyway just because what happened was tragic.”
Regardless, Obama said the Justice Department investigation into racial bias in Ferguson’s police department was “very clear.”
“What we saw was that Ferguson police department in conjunction with municipality saw traffic stops, arrests, and tickets as revenue generators as opposed to serving,” he continued, adding the overwhelmingly white force was “systematically” biased, placing minorities under its care into an “oppressive and abusive situation.”
His Attorney Gen. Eric Holder sat in the audience at South Carolina’s Benedict College, a historically black liberal arts school.
Earlier on Friday, the president said the problems at Ferguson are not uniform across police departments in America, but they’re not isolated either.
Racist emails between officers and routine arrests of minorities without probable cause were also exposed in the investigation, which the agency found amounted to a “pattern and practice” of unlawful conduct by local law enforcement in a city where two in three residents are minorities. The findings would be seen as validation by supporters of the widespread protests to police killings of African-American men in Ferguson, Cleveland, and New York, which sparked a nationwide discussion about police force, race relations and how police treat minorities.
Some of those demonstrators from Ferguson are also planning to be in Selma.
Despite the harsh report, the agency said Wednesday it would not pursue charges against Wilson. A St. Louis grand jury also cleared him of an indictment at the state level last November.
Friday was the president’s first trip to South Carolina since assuming the Oval Office.
Office of Senator Bob Menendez(WASHINGTON) -- Federal prosecutors are considering corruption charges against New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez.
A federal official familiar with the case tells ABC News that a criminal charge "is a good possibility," though a decision may not be officially made for weeks. Grand Juries in both Miami and Newark, N.J., have heard evidence against the senator, in a case that centers around his relationship with Florida eye doctor and Democratic donor Salomon Melgen.
Late Friday night, Menendez forcefully denied any wrongdoing in a news conference, adamantly saying “I am not going anywhere.”
“Let me be very clear, very clear. I have always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law,” Menendez told reporters in Newark, New Jersey.
A statement from Menendez' office said that all of his actions "have been appropriate and lawful and the facts will ultimately confirm that." Menendez "has counted Dr. Melgen as one of his closest personal friends for decades," the statement continued. "We know many false allegations have been made about this matter, allegations that were ultimately publicly discredited," Menendez' Communications Director Tricia Enright said, acknowledging that the investigation is ongoing.
Attorney General Eric Holder, traveling with President Obama in South Carolina on Friday, declined to comment on the possibility of criminal charges.
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In an unclassified message to the CIA workforce, CIA Director John Brennan announced a long-expected reorganization for the intelligence agency.
Brennan says that the CIA has previously faced similar shifts in national security and landscape and that each time it has proven "it can adapt and transform in significant ways," highlighting the agency's response to global terrorism. "The time has come for us to do so again, which will require bold action in four interrelated areas," Brennan said in his message.
Brennan's changes aim to "attract the best from the broadest pool of American talent and develop our officers with the skills, knowledge, and Agency-wide perspective they will need to lead us into the future," "be positioned to embrace and leverage the digital revolution to the benefit of all mission areas," implement "organizational construct and business practices that support our decisionmaking process" and "allow all of our Agency's capabilities to be brought to bear as quickly and coherently as possible to meet the Nation's challenges."
The CIA will create ten new Mission Centers to "bring the full range of operational, analytic, support, technical, and digital personnel and capabilities to bear on the nation's most pressing security issues and interests," the message says. Each center will be run by an assistant director who will report to directorate heads.
The National Clandestine Service will now be renamed the Directorate of Operations, while the Directorate of Intelligence will be renamed the Directorate of Analysis.
The agency also aims to "modernize the way we do business," by streamlining processes and practices and delegating decisionmaking and accountability to "the lowest appropriate level."
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Speaking at a gathering of LGBT rights activists Friday, Vice President Joe Biden took a swipe at potential Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson for his recent remark that being gay is a choice.
Biden, who has been a longtime advocate for gay rights, called Carson’s comment a “ridiculous assertion.”
“I mean Jesus God. I mean it’s kind of hard to fathom,” Biden told an audience at the Human Rights Campaign spring equality convention in Washington, D.C.
Biden’s comments on Carson got laughs and cheers from the packed room.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, sparked controversy when on Wednesday he said in an interview with CNN that gay people chose their sexuality because “a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight -- and when they come out, they’re gay.”
Yesterday, CNN reported, he apologized for it in a statement: "I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended.”
Fighting through a cold and with a hoarse voice, Biden argued for basic human rights not just in the U.S. but for the world and said he was “optimistic” that this country would enact federal anti-discrimination legislation, but that we “have to pass it now.”
“Granted we've come a great distance and we've still have much further to go...The momentum is undeniably on our side. It is not capable of being slowed, it is not capable of being stopped,” Biden said. “We are all entitled to basic human rights.”
He also drew comparisons between the civil rights march across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge and the Stonewall Riots, when the gay community protested the police raiding of New York City gay bars, calling them “the same basic movement.”
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system rather than a government-run account while serving as Secretary of State has raised questions about what rules she may have broken, whether she knew she was in violation, and who else knew about her private system.
ABC News has now identified at least two ways in which Clinton may have broken federal rules. During her tenure at the State Department she appears to have violated an existing 2005 rule. And after her tenure, it appears that she did not heed a 2013 rule change that may have put her in violation.
For her part, Clinton recently tweeted that she "want[s] the public to see my email" -- but that process will take months and will only apply to email that her team self-selected to hand over to the State Department.
Here is a full timeline of Clinton's history with email, the federal guidelines that theoretically applied to her when she took office, and the events of this week.
Hillary Clinton was recorded telling a donor that she didn't like using email.
Home video footage from 2000, shot at a fundraiser by a donor, Peter Paul, showed then-Sen. Clinton talking about how she had chosen to avoid email for fear of leaving a paper trail.
"As much as I’ve been investigated and all of that, you know, why would I? I don’t even want -- why would I ever want to do e-mail?" Clinton said.
"Can you imagine?" she asked.
The Foreign Affairs Manual was codified by the State Department, which ruled in 2005 that employees could only use private email accounts for official business if they turned those emails over to be entered into government computers.
That ruling also forbade State Department employees from including "sensitive but unclassified" information on private email, except for some very narrow exceptions.
In the midst of the 2008 presidential race, Clinton took a jab at the Bush administration's use of non-governmental email accounts.
"Our Constitution is being shredded. We know about the secret wiretaps. We know about secret military tribunals, the secret White House email accounts," Clinton said in a 2007 campaign speech. 2008
Much of the mystery surrounding Clinton’s emails came from the fact that an IP address associated with the clintonemail.com domain she is believed to have used was registered to a person named Eric Hoteham on Feb. 1, 2008. No public records matching that individual can be found and it is possible that it was simply a misspelling of the name Eric Hothem, a former aide to Clinton while she was first lady. An Eric Hothem is now listed as an employee at JP Morgan in Washington, D.C.
The IP address for clintonemail.com, along with others registered in Hoteham’s name, are all connected to the Clinton’s address in Chappaqua, New York.
Justin Cooper, a longtime aide to former President Bill Clinton, registered the clintonemail.com domain on Jan. 13, a little more than a week before Hillary Clinton took office as secretary of state on Jan. 21.
It was also a year when another rule went into place regarding the use of private email. According to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations in 2009, if an agency allows its employees to use a personal email account, it must ensure that the emails are “preserved in the appropriate agency recordkeeping system.”
Questions remain about what the National Archives considers an “appropriate agency recordkeeping system” and if they believe Clinton, who did not hand over any emails until last year, was in compliance with it.
Clinton was not the only one in the diplomatic service to use a personal email account, but it appears that someone else got in trouble for their habit.
As part of a 2012 report by the Office of the Inspector General, the then-Ambassador to Kenya, Scott Grationm, was reprimanded for using private email and other issues.
The report suggested his "use of commercial email for official government business" amounted to a failure to "adhere to department regulations and government information security standards." 2013
Clinton stepped down from the State Department on Feb. 1.
Later that year, the National Archives updated their guidelines to say that agency employees should generally only use personal email accounts in “emergency situations.” If an employee does use a personal account, all of the emails must be preserved in “accordance with agency recordkeeping practices.”
President Obama signed the Federal Records Act into law in late November, requiring the head of each agency to "make and preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures and essential transactions of the agency."
The realization that Clinton’s emails were not recorded at the State Department appears to have been made in two steps. According to a timeline from the New York Times, first, the Congressional Committee investigating the Benghazi attack asked the State Department for all relevant emails. At that point, the State Department asked for Clinton to turn over all of her non-personal emails from her time as secretary.
She handed over 55,000 pages of emails late in 2014.
The State Department also asked other former secretaries of state to turn over government-related emails for preservation.
The New York Times reports that, in mid-February, Clinton handed over more than 300 emails to the House committee investigating the Benghazi, Libya, consulate attack.
Clinton’s use of a private email address does not become public knowledge until the New York Times reported on it Tuesday, March 3. Clinton’s team insisted she acted in the spirit of the laws governing email use.
After growing pressure, Clinton asked the State Department to release her emails.
I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.
Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- On Saturday, nine potential presidential candidates -- Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Scott Walker -- will descend on Des Moines for the first-ever Iowa Agriculture Summit.
Hosted by Iowa “kingmaker” Bruce Rastetter, an agribusiness mogul, the seven-hour summit will give these possible candidates a chance to clarify their views on agriculture policy. But what they really care about is wooing Iowa voters.
Seriously, what’s the deal with Iowa?
If you’ve been following the 2016 chatter at all, you’ve probably noticed politicians sucking up to Iowa. That’s because the state, home to the now-famous 600-pound butter cow, is the first to vote -- or, more accurately, caucus -- in the presidential primaries.
Though Iowa’s majority white population isn’t representative of the rest of the country, winning in the Hawkeye State signals major momentum, attracting the kind of big donors that can catapult a candidate to the White House -- donors like Rastetter.
Tell me more about this millionaire kingmaker.
Rastetter made his millions in pork and ethanol. He has reportedly donated more than $1.5 million to political candidates since 2003.
Pundits call him a “kingmaker.” Though he shies away from the label, he has bankrolled GOP candidates from Florida to California, and continues to be most influential Republican donor in the state.
Rastetter, who encouraged Christie to run in 2012, hasn't yet endorsed a candidate for 2016. Saturday’s event will thrust him squarely into the spotlight. For 20 minutes each, he’ll quiz some of the nation’s top political talent on everything from immigration to ethanol.
Speaking of ethanol, why are Iowans so obsessed with it?
The corn-based fuel alternative is a major boon for Iowa corn farmers. According to the Iowa Corn Growers Association, nearly half of the two billion bushels of corn grown in the state each year goes into ethanol production, and many growers there won’t support a president who doesn’t champion ethanol.
That makes Saturday’s summit slightly awkward for politicians like Sen. Cruz, R-Texas, who has become increasingly hostile toward government-subsidized biofuels.
"I believe we should pursue an all-of-the-above energy policy and that Washington shouldn't be picking winners and losers," Cruz said in August.
The Texas senator wants to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates refiners blend ethanol into the fuel supply.
That puts him at odds with some of the other politicians hoping to make political hay in the Hawkeye State. Huckabee and Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008 and 2012, respectively, have both expressed support for the standard.
(Other politicians who oppose the standard, like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have opted to skip the summit.)
Which candidate faces the highest stakes?
The biggest story line of this weekend is Bush’s return to Iowa.
The ag summit will be an opening salvo of sorts for the former Florida governor, who hasn’t stepped foot in the Hawkeye State since October 2012. Bush, who sat out the high-profile Iowa Freedom Summit in January, has planned a two-day swing through the state, with appearances in Cedar Rapids, Urbandale and Waukee.
Nationally, Bush is polling relatively well compared to his potential rivals. But according to the Quinnipiac poll, Iowa -- a state that has historically embraced more right-wing conservatives like Huckabee and Santorum -- hasn’t yet fallen in love with Bush.
His controversial views on immigration and common core education standards don’t sit well with the state’s conservative base.
The good news for Bush? According to a poll released in January, 63 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers say his last name isn’t a deal breaker.
Who else should I be watching?
Pundits are wondering whether Wisconsin Gov. Walker, who has surged in the polls of late, will make an even bigger splash on Saturday.
In a Quinnipiac poll released just last week, Walker led the GOP pack in Iowa, scoring 25 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers, followed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (13 percent), former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee (11 percent), neurosurgeon Ben Carson (11 percent) and Bush (10 percent).
And what’s this I hear about The Bachelor?
The biggest heartthrob in the Hawkeye State, Bachelor star Chris Soules, works for Rastetter, and his fawning fans in Iowa hoped he'd make an appearance at the summit.
Bad news, people -- Soules tells ABC he "can't make it."
US Department of Labor(WASHINGTON) -- Labor Secretary Tom Perez is pleased with February's jobs report.
"This was a very good jobs report. Last year was the best year of job growth since the late '90s and the first two months of this year are continuing that momentum," he said.
The Labor Department reported Friday morning that 295,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in February, exceeding economists' predictions.
"We haven't had 12 months straight of 200,000 plus job growth in decades. We now have had 60 months in a row of private sector job growth," Perez said.
The unemployment rate also fared better than expected, dropping to 5.5 percent.
Perez said it's a great sign for the economy. "The wind is at our back. There's undeniable unfinished business, but a year ago the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent. Now it's 5.5 percent and so we're moving in the right direction," he added.
Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Jacob Lew, the secretary of the Treasury, has sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner requesting Congress increase the debt limit “as soon as possible.”
Congress passed the Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act, suspending the statutory debt limit through March 15. Lew warns that beginning on Monday, March 16, the outstanding debt of the United States will be at the statutory limit, and he’ll have to take “extraordinary measures” to finance the government on a temporary basis.
“Only Congress is empowered to increase the nation’s borrowing authority, and I hope that Congress will address this matter without controversy or brinksmanship,” Lew writes. “Accordingly, I respectfully ask Congress to raise the debt limit as soon as possible.”
Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is headed to South Carolina Friday, where he's expected to highlight his economic plan to grow the middle class.
The president will visit Benedict College, a historically black college in Columbia, and participate in a town hall with students and young members of the community. He is expected to talk about the role that institutions like this college can play in fulfilling the demand for skilled professionals and helping to train people for those highly skilled jobs across the country.
Obama's trip to South Carolina marks his first visit to the Palmetto State as president. It was one of only three states he had yet to visit as president. The two states that remain are Utah and South Dakota.
In second place is Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 14 percent, followed by Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, with 10 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Another 14 percent are undecided.
Taking Clinton out of the race, Biden trumps Warren to take the top spot with 35 percent to Warren's 25 percent. Sanders comes in third with 7 percent, while 25 percent of voters remain undecided.
It is worth noting that this poll was completed on March 2, just before The New York Times first broke the news that Clinton exclusively used a personal e-mail account during her time at the State Department. Still, the survey shows a commanding lead.
Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Democratic leaders in the key early caucus state of Iowa and elsewhere are offering mixed reactions to revelations surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state, with most standing by her but some questioning whether their party needs another choice.
"Those supportive of Hillary Clinton that were backing her in 2008 are pushing this aside," Linda Nelson, the Pottawattamie County, Iowa, Democratic chair, told ABC News. "Others are saying, 'Hey, Hillary is going to continue to have baggage from her husband's administration, from the State Department that’s going to be drawn out again and again, and we aren’t going to win the presidency. Let’s just get a fresh face and move forward.’”
Walt Pregler, Democratic Party chair for Dubuque County, Iowa, called the email issue "trivial," and other local Democratic leaders seemed to feel the same way.
“Everybody has a private email account. The fact that she has one doesn’t seem to make a big difference," Polk County Democratic Chair Tom Henderson told ABC News. "I don’t think voters know why it’s important yet."
Martin Peterson from Crawford County, Iowa, expressed concerns over a lack of options.
"Unfortunately there are no other candidates- I wish there were," Peterson said to ABC News. "It won’t be competitive enough and we’ll probably lose because I don’t think it will play out well for us. Now how about that for pessimism?"
Clinton’s team has said it has handed over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department for review, and while the question of whether or not she broke any rules by purposefully avoiding a government-run email account is still up in the air, the optics of the controversy are the bigger issue, for some.
“She had the right to use it. But was it smart? Probably not,” Cedar County, Iowa, Democratic Party chair Larry Hodgden said. “It’s not illegal but this is just one more thing she’s opened herself up to controversy.”
Outside Iowa, other Democrats see the email controversy just as part of the inevitable political process.
Doug Grant, Democratic Party chair for the northern part of Grafton County, New Hampshire, called the email issue "a tempest in a teapot."
"I will look for a blazing star [candidate] that will come out from nowhere in the next three months, that will blaze in the sky. That’s just not too plausible, unfortunately," he said.
Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn told ABC News that he has "no pause" about Clinton, but a primary is necessary "if you have candidates who haven’t been battle-tested...but we’ve had that conversation with Hillary Clinton and we have pretty much vetted her."
One of the most vocal Democratic voices speaking out against Clinton is Dick Harpootlian, one of Vice President Joe Biden's biggest supporters and a former Democratic Party chairman in South Carolina.
"The chatter down here is, 'Is this the best we can do?'" Harpootlian told The Washington Post on Wednesday. "Certainly everyone wants to give a woman a chance to lead this country, but is [Clinton] the woman? There are plenty of other women who would be competitive, whether it’s Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar or Kirsten Gillibrand."
Harpootlian continued his criticisms Thursday on CNN, saying that the assumption that Clinton is the front-runner may save her from having to answer questions during the primary.
“Is that what we really want in a presidential candidate and is that really what we want in a president?” Harpootlian asked.
"Is she going to lose over the email account? Absolutley not. What I'm saying is this is symptomatic of a larger problem," he said.
“She’s got to run the campaign,” Harpootlian said. “I was around Clinton in '92. I was with Obama here in Virginia in '08. I’ll tell you who ran those campaigns: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Who the hell’s running this campaign?”
National Republican figures have suggested Clinton’s conduct regarding the emails will be a campaign issue.
"Hillary Clinton must think we’re all suckers," Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short said in a statement released Wednesday evening. "The fact Hillary Clinton set up a 'homebrewed' email system in her house to skirt federal recordkeeping regulations is a pretty good indicator of just how transparent she’s interested in being."
Jeb Bush, one of Clinton’s likely opponents, tweeted a slight at Clinton as soon as the news of her private email domain and servers broke on Monday.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Hillary Clinton was in violation of State Department rules governing the use of non-governmental email accounts during her entire tenure as secretary of state, ABC News has learned.
A senior State Department official tells ABC News that under rules in place while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state, employees could only use private email accounts for official business if they turn those emails over to be entered into government computers. This policy is still in place.
Until the private emails are entered into government computers, the official says, an employee is in violation of the rules.
Mrs. Clinton used a private email account for her entire tenure as secretary – and did not even have a government-issued email. Mrs. Clinton did turn over some 55,000 pages of emails to be entered into government computer systems late last year, nearly two years after she stepped down from the State Department.
If Mrs. Clinton has now turned over all emails related to official business, she would be in compliance with State Department rules, an official said. But there is no way to independently verify that she has done that.
Mrs. Clinton’s spokesman says she has turned over about 90 percent of the emails she wrote as secretary of state, withholding only those that were strictly personal and not covered by the policy.
State Department email rules became an issue while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state.
One of Mrs. Clinton’s ambassadors was criticized by the Department’s inspector general in a 2012 report for using private email.
“It is the Department’s general policy that normal day-to-day operations be conducted on an authorized information system, which has the proper level of security controls,” the Office of Inspector General wrote in the 2012 report.
The IG report warns that the use of non-governmental email accounts “increases the risk” of security breaches and the “loss of official public records as these systems do not have approved record preservation or backup functions.”
Clinton established her own private email network based out of her Chappaqua, New York, home, where aides say she has personally preserved all messages before turning them over.
Mrs. Clinton tweeted late Wednesday that she has asked the State Department to publicly release all the emails she turned over, but has otherwise remained silent on the controversy.
Back when she was last ran for president, Mrs. Clinton was quite vocal about other government officials who use private emails which circumvent automatic government archiving.
“Our Constitution is being shredded. We know about the secret wiretaps, the secret military tribunals, the secret White House email accounts,” she said at an event in 2007, indirectly indicting the Republican administration. “It’s a stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok.”
At least one Democrat -- a supporter of Vice President Biden -- lashed out at Mrs. Clinton's email practices in an interview on CNN.
“Is that what we really want in a presidential candidate?” former South Carolina Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian said in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN. “Who the hell’s running this campaign?”