- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2015

A State Department spokeswoman on Friday said the agency did not start archiving emails from most officials until this year, calling into question Hillary Clinton’s claims that her records were saved “immediately.”

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told Fox News that automatic archiving of senior official’s e-mails only started in February — long after Ms. Clinton left office.

“They have long been planning to do this,” Ms. Psaki said. “It’s just something that it took some time to put in place.”

During a press conference Tuesday, former Secretary of State Clinton tried to defend her use of a private email account for official business. Ms. Clinton argued that since her correspondence were sent to other State Dept. employees on their official “.gov” email addresses, that all her communications would be saved on agency servers.

“The vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department,” she said.

But Ms. Psaki’s statements call into question just how much of Ms. Clinton’s communications were saved, noting that before automatic archiving began in February, it was usually up to the officials themselves to flag their emails for record keeping.

SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton could face jail time as email scandal sparks legal challenges

The Washington Times reported on Wednesday that State Department employees don’t always have the proper training for preserving email exchanges according to the agency’s independent investigator.

Out of billions of emails, employees only made an effort to preserve 61,156 in 2011, according to the department’s Inspector General. That number has dropped further, as in 2013 employees created records for only 41,749 e-mails.

“Some employees do not create record emails because they do not want to make the email available in searches or fear that this availability would inhibit debate about pending decisions,” the IG noted.

• Phillip Swarts can be reached at pswarts@washingtontimes.com.

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