FBI releases more details of investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of private email server

Mrs Clinton warned her staff not to use personal emails yet struggled to follow her own directive

FBI releases more details of investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of private email server

Image: Tony Dejak / AP/Press Association Images

Hillary Clinton told State Department staff not to use personal email to conduct official business, according to the FBI.

Her warning is noted in the FBI's transcript of its July interview with the former Secretary of State regarding her own unauthorised use of a private email server containing classified information.

The FBI closed its investigation last month into whether she had abused state secrets, without recommending criminal charges.

However, it called her arrangement "extremely careless", and the issue has dogged the Democratic presidential nominee's campaign. 

The transcript notes: "In 2011, a notice to all State employees was sent on Clinton's behalf, which recommended employees avoid conducting State business from personal e-mail accounts due to information security concerns.

"Clinton stated she did not recall this specific notice, and she did not recall receiving any guidance from State regarding e-mail policies."

Mrs Clinton told the FBI she did not recall all the briefings she received on handling sensitive information due to a concussion she suffered in 2012, according to the transcript.

She told FBI investigators she "did not explicitly request permission to use a private server or email address", which violated federal records keeping policies. 

The transcript also says Mrs Clinton's "immediate staff" used their personal email accounts to conduct official State business, too.

It goes on to note that in 2009 Mrs Clinton asked former Secretary of State Colin Powell for his advice on email arrangements during his tenure.

He told her that if it became known she had used her BlackBerry to "do business" her emails could become "official record".

The transcript states: "Powell further advised Clinton: 'Be very careful. I got around it by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data."

The transcript notes Mrs Clinton received phishing emails, including one containing a malicious link, purportedly sent from the personal account of a State Department official.

She replied to the email: "Is this really from you? I was worried about opening it!"

The transcript continues: "In a separate incident, (Clinton aide Huma) Abedin sent an email to (redacted) indicating Clinton was worried 'someone (was) hacking into her email' given that she received an e-mail from a known (redacted) associate containing a link to a website with pornographic material."

The FBI said the link, if opened, could have infected the user's device and sent information to at least three computers overseas, including one in Russia.

Clinton IT specialist Bryan Pagliano, who helped set up Mrs Clinton's private email, told the FBI there were no security breaches.

But he said "he was aware there were many failed login attempts, which he referred to as brute force attacks", says the transcript.

Responding to the FBI release, Donald Trump said: “Hillary Clinton’s answers to the FBI about her private email server defy belief. I was absolutely shocked to see that her answers to the FBI stood in direct contradiction to what she told the American people.

"After reading these documents, I really don’t understand how she was able to get away from prosecution," he added.