A former top Department of State official who worked under Hillary Clinton told her presidential campaign chair every White House staffer and top cabinet official uses a personal email account.
“Btw you know as well as I every god damn cabinet officer and WH staff uses [their] gmail account!” Tom Nides, the former deputy secretary of state for management and resources, wrote to John Podesta in a March 2015 email.
Nides, who served in the State Department from 2011 to 2013 while Clinton was secretary of state, wrote to Podesta using his Gmail account, and suggested that he used one while working in the Obama administration.
Podesta’s Gmail account, which he used to communicate with White House staffers, got hacked, revealing Nides’ candid email to the Clinton campaign chairman.
Reports have been circulating for years about top Obama administration officials using “secret” email accounts to conduct official business and possibly avoid Freedom of Information Act requests.
A few Obama administration officials have been caught using private email accounts to conduct government business.
Labor Sec. Tom Perez used a personal email account to leak information to the press while he worked at the Department of Justice, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack used a personal email account while serving as the governor of Iowa.
Clinton is probably the most high profile case of an Obama administration official not only using a private email account, but also relying on a completely private server based out of her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.
Nides gave Podesta advice on how to handle Clinton’s own email troubles; Clinton was caught using a private, unsecured email server to conduct State Department business. An FBI investigation found classified materials were improperly stored on the server.
“For what it’s worth. There is only one thing that needs to be done on this email thing. (Which I am sure nobody wants to do). Get a state dept career lawyer to go through all the emails and pull the official ones. I know all the reasons not to do it but it’s going to happen so we should do it,” he wrote to Podesta.