The government spending bill struck by congressional leaders late Tuesday takes clear aim at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with provisions prohibiting the kind of off-the-books email arrangement she used while in office.
The $1.1 trillion, 2009-page bill also requires the State Department to strengthen cyber security measures in order to “mitigate vulnerabilities, including those resulting from the use of personal email accounts or servers outside the .gov domain.”
Infamously, Clinton exclusively used a personal email account that she hosted on a private server throughout her tenure at State. The server was kept at her New York residence, and the entire system was managed by a State Department staffer who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Clinton’s server contained more than 1,000 now-classified emails, as well as at least two emails that the intelligence community determined contained information that was “top secret” when the messages were sent. It is now in the possession of the FBI, which is investigating the matter.
The “omnibus” spending bill, which will receive a vote later this week, states that funds appropriated for diplomatic and consular programs will not be made available to the State Department or U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) “to support the use or establishment of email accounts or email servers created outside the .gov domain.”
Funds also cannot be used for email accounts and servers that are “not fitted for automated records management as part of a Federal government records management program” as laid out in Federal Records Act amendments signed into law last year. (RELATED: House Conservatives Frustrated By Lack Of Refugee, Pro-Life Provisions In Spending Bill
The State Department has been hammered relentlessly over its failure to capture emails sent and received from its employees’ .gov email accounts. The agency has denied numerous congressional requests and Freedom of Information Act requests for Clinton’s emails and those of several of her top aides.
The omnibus bill, which would fund the federal government through Sept. 30, 2016, also calls on the secretary of state and USAID administrator to update its policies and directives in order to comply with federal statutes, regulations and executive orders pertaining to the preservation of work-related records generated online, such as emails and online messages.
It also requires the State Department and USAID to instruct departing employees, “including senior officials,” that federal records that they generate while in office “belong to the Federal government.” (RELATED: Former Intelligence Chief Calls ‘Top Secret’ Info on Hillary’s Server ‘Unreal’
Clinton has been criticized for taking nearly two years to turn over her work-related emails. She gave the State Department 55,000 pages of her emails last December, though she left the agency 22 months before, in Feb. 2013.
And while Clinton has claimed that she took an “unprecedented step” in handing over the emails, she often fails to mention that she only turned the records over after the State Department requested last fall.