Emails: State Dept. Tech Staff Was ‘Frustrated’ By Clinton Email System

(Reuters photo)

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Officials within the State Department’s information technology division were “frustrated” by problems that arose from Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, newly released emails show.

The emails, which the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch recently obtained and released on Wednesday, were used as part of a State Department inspector general’s investigation into Clinton’s email practices.

One exchange shows that when members of State’s Executive Secretariat IT division learned about Clinton’s use of a server, other projects were scrapped in order to fix problems with the device’s configurations.

“This should trump all other activities. You can also have a 1 day extension on all heat tickets,” wrote Kenneth LaVolpe, a State Department IT executive, in a Dec. 17, 2010 email.

Earlier that day, a systems administrator in the Executive Secretariat’s information resources management division sent an email to colleagues discussing a meeting she had with Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin about “mail issues.”

“I met with Huma for about 30 minutes to go over mail issues,” the official, Cindy Almodovar, wrote.

[dcquiz] “She gave me some examples listed below, but also, things are inconsistent,” she added.

Abedin had notified Almodovar that some within the State Department were not receiving emails sent from the clintonemail.com domain, which Clinton and Abedin used. In other cases, emails sent from the clintonemail.com server were causing problems for recipients with State Department email addresses.

Almodovar’s email suggests that she did not know about Clinton’s server. She also mentioned Clinton’s server technician, Bryan Pagliano, as if she did not know him.

“I have a contact for the @clintonemail site. His name is Bryan Pagliano and he now actually works for State but he apparently set all of this up.”

Pagliano was hired by the State Department in May 2009.

Emails used in the inspector general’s report include exchanges with Pagliano to discuss various configurations on Clinton’s server.

Other emails indicate that career State Department IT employees were critical of Clinton’s setup.

“While we are frustrated with the situation, please don’t misunderstand that is directed towards you,” IT official Thomas Lawrence wrote in an email to another technician working to fix the issue.

In its investigation, the office of the inspector general also found that two IT workers were told by John Bentel, the director of the Executive Secretariat’s information resources management division, not to ask questions about Clinton’s server. He also reportedly told the staffers that the server had been approved by the State Department’s legal office. The IG found that that was not true. Clinton’s server was never approved.

The IG report undermined Bentel’s claim — which he reportedly told Congress last year — that he was not aware of Clinton’s use of a private server.

One email released to Judicial Watch was one sent to Bentel and other officials on March 17, 2009. It included a document entitled “Secretary Residential Installation Hotwash.”

The document refers to Clinton’s server as an “unclassified partner system.” It was to be set up in a bathroom closet in the basement of her Chappaqua, N.Y. residence.

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