Hillary Clinton Says She Used Private Email System for the ‘Purpose of Convenience’

December 15, 2018 Updated: December 16, 2018

Hillary Clinton testified in a new court document (pdf) on Dec. 14, that she used her private email system for the “purpose of convenience.”

Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the former secretary of state to respond under oath to questions she had previously denied answering about her private email server—which she used for years while serving as secretary of state under President Barack Obama.

In his ruling, Sullivan ordered Clinton to “describe the creation of the clintonemail.com system, including who decided to create the system, the date it was decided to create the system, why it was created, who set it up, and when it became operational.”

Clinton responded to the question, saying that she was “aware that President Clinton’s office had set up an e-mail system, but she had no role in this process.”

“Secretary Clinton knew that President Clinton’s staff had recently upgraded that system. Secretary Clinton does not know what equipment that system used, how it was created, who decided that the system needed to be upgraded, or who else had accounts on the system. Secretary Clinton believes that one of the President’s aides, Justin Cooper, set up the system,” according to the court document. “Secretary Clinton decided to use a clintonemail.com account on the system for the purpose of convenience. Secretary Clinton recalls that the clintonemail.com account was created in early 2009.”

Justin Cooper was a former advisor of President Bill Clinton who had allegedly set up the controversial email server. Cooper later admitted in an FBI report (pdf) to destroying Hillary Clinton’s discarded mobile phones by “breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer” on two instances.

Meanwhile, Clinton was also ordered to respond to a question about a 2015 testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi, during which she testified that 90 to 95 percent of her emails “were in the State’s system” and “if they wanted to see them, they would certainly have been able to do so.”

In her response, Clinton said she became aware of the percentage of emails that were in the state’s system shortly before the committee hearing—a calculation she said she did not perform. Instead, she attached a copy of a letter dated Nov. 13, 2015, addressed to Trey Gowdy, who was the chairman of the House Benghazi Committee, that outlined how the number was devised.

The lawsuit against the State Department—which was over the status of Clinton aide Huma Abedin—was brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that investigates alleged misconduct by government officials through legal action, Freedom of Information Act applications, and public outreach.

Clinton had answered that she “does not recall” to 20 out of the 25 written questions from Judicial Watch in October 2016. All of the questions related to her use of a private email and a server she set up at her upstate New York home.

The organization’s president, Tom Fitton, called Clinton’s recent claim that she used the separate email system as a matter of convenience, “simply not credible.”

“We intend to pursue additional questions with Mrs. Clinton and others on this blatant attempt to hide her emails from Judicial Watch, the courts, Congress, and the American people,” he said in a statement.

Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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