Former U.S. ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration told The Daily Caller that Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff fired him based on an inspector general’s report which found, among other things, that he routinely used an unauthorized email account to conduct official government business.
The revelation of Clinton’s then-chief of staff Cheryl Mills’ involvement in Gration’s termination — which Gration shared in an email from his home in Kenya — adds another wrinkle to a story of an apparent double-standard within the State Department.
During her entire four years as secretary of state Clinton exclusively used a private email account — HDR22@clintonemail.com — to conduct all official and personal business.
“I make no apology for ‘rocking the boat’ in the State Department to improve physical security, to enhance cyber policy, and to conduct several other initiatives that the State Department Inspector General misrepresented to build the case that Secretary Clinton’s Chief of Staff used to terminate my tenure as the US Ambassador in 2012,” Gration wrote in the email to TheDC and other outlets.
Gration did not specify how Mills intervened to fire him. He left his post in June 2012, shortly before an inspector general’s report was released.
But he did tell CNN on Friday that he was “very surprised to learn of the double standard” apparently at play in the State Department.
He told CNN that Mills “obviously knew Secretary Clinton was using commercial email, yet she stated my use of Gmail was one of the reasons I had to move on.”
The inspector’s general report highlighted several issues with Gration but made clear that his reliance on using commercial email for official government business was unacceptable.
“The Ambassador’s requirements for use of commercial email in the office and his flouting of direct instructions to adhere to Department policy have placed the information management staff in a conundrum: balancing the desire to be responsive to their mission leader and the need to adhere to Department regulations and government information security standards,” the report reads.
The report also says that the use of commercial email accounts “increases the risk for data loss, phishing, and spoofing of email accounts, as well as inadequate protections for personally identifiable information.”
That has been one complaint leveled against Clinton this week. It is unclear if Clinton’s private email account — which was routed through a server operating out of her private New York home — had all of the proper security measures needed to protect sensitive information. It is also unclear whether Clinton sent or received classified information on that private system. If so, she could be in violation of federal law.
Clinton’s use of private email also protected some of her messages from being made public to Freedom of Information Act requests. Several requests submitted during and after her tenure have been denied due to no records being found. But officials’ personal emails related to government business are subject to records requests. The State Department and other federal laws require officials to turn personal records over so that their agencies can put them in the public record. (RELATED: US Ambassador To Kenya Fired Over His Hillary-Like Use Of Personal Email)
Clinton did not do that. Gration did not do that. But only one of them lost their job.
“The use of unauthorized information systems can also result in the loss of official public records as these systems do not have approved record preservation or backup functions,” the IG report reads. “Conducting official business on non-Department automated information systems must be limited to only maintaining communications during emergencies.”
Gration tells TheDC that he is not bitter over his termination. “I’ve chosen to move on and to be better.”
The former Air Force pilot and special envoy to Sudan lives with his wife in Kenya where he is now a businessman.
“My experience was somewhat different than Secretary Clinton’s use of her commercial account, yet I was ‘fired’ for the use of Gmail in the US Embassy, my insistence on improving our physical security posture, and other twisted and false allegations,” Gration wrote.