Hillary Clinton Decides To Release Private Email Server To Justice Department
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Hillary Clinton's team is turning over the private emails server that she used as secretary of state and that's been the subject of a great deal of controversy for several months now. NPR's Tamara Keith is in New Hampshire where Clinton was campaigning today, and she joins us to talk about this. Tam, in the past, Hillary Clinton has said that she had no intention of turning over this server to anyone, like the congressional committee investigating Benghazi. What's changed?
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Two inspectors general raised concerns that there was classified information in the emails that Clinton had sent from her private server or had received on her private server. They sent a referral to the Justice Department saying they were concerned about how those emails on the server and also a thumb drive that her lawyer had were being stored.
So now a Clinton spokesman - Nick Merrill - says that Clinton directed her team to give her email server that was used during her time as secretary of state over to the Justice Department as well as that thumb drive. And NPR's Carrie Johnson checked with both the Justice Department and the FBI, and neither of them have a comment on this at this point.
SIEGEL: Tam, hasn't Hillary Clinton said that she never sent classified information through the server?
KEITH: Yes. She continues to maintain that. But what they're saying now is that she never knowingly sent or received classified information and that none of it was marked classified at the time. The State Department is also out with a statement saying that nothing was marked classified at the time it was sent.
SIEGEL: Now, you've been following Clinton campaigning in New Hampshire. How is all of this affecting her campaign?
KEITH: Well, this has really been hanging over her campaign since before her campaign was officially a campaign. You'll remember that press conference she had at the U.N. That was before she had even announced she was running for president. This is really hung over her. It has affected her ratings in the polls for honesty and trustworthiness. The RNC, just moments ago, came out with a statement saying, quote, "all this means is that Hillary Clinton, in the face of FBI scrutiny, has decided she has run out of options. She knows she has done something wrong and has run out of ways to cover it up."
What she's created with this unusual email server arrangement is a lot of questions and a lot of questions that are largely unanswerable. The Benghazi committee that's investigating the terrorist attack in Benghazi has been asking her to turn over its - her server to them. They will no doubt redouble their efforts to get their hands on that server now.
SIEGEL: As she campaigns in New Hampshire, apart from reporters, do voters ask her about the email server?
KEITH: You know, I've probably been to at least half-a-dozen town hall meetings in New Hampshire and Iowa, and I've watched even more of them streamed over the Internet. People at these events just don't ask about it. Now, the reality is that people at these events tend to be Democrats, and Democrats tend to think this is a trumped up, drummed up kind of situation. But certainly, it doesn't come up on the trail as much as you'd expect unless, of course, you are in a press scrum, and then it comes up all the time.
SIEGEL: That's NPR's Tamara Keith in Concord, N.H. Tamara, thanks.
KEITH: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.