- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton not only used a private email account for official business, but communicated with her top aides through their private email accounts, according to a new report.

Some of the roughly 300 emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private account that were turned over to a House committee investigating the 2012 terror attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, showed that she exchanged the messages with top aides completely outside the purview of the State Department, The New York Times reported.

The revelation, based on anonymous government sources, contradicts Mrs. Clinton’s claim that her emails conducting official business were in compliance with federal record-keeping regulations because she was communicating with aides who used State Department email accounts.

The emails disclosed to the newspaper showed that Mrs. Clinton and her aides closely monitored the fallout from the terror attack in Benghazi, which killed Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens and three other Americans. The attack threatened to damage the reputation of Mrs. Clinton and the State Department.

Mrs. Clinton, the undisputed frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president, has faced sharp criticism for exclusively using a private email account and a private server in her home for conduction official business while serving as Secretary of State.

The unorthodox practice has shielded Mrs. Clinton’s official communications from Public Information Act requests and from requests by Congress for her communications, likely violating federal record-keeping laws.

SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton ordered to turn over email server by House Benghazi committee

The committee investigating the Benghazi attacks formally requested Friday that Ms. Clinton turn her email server over to an independent third party so it can be scrutinized to determine whether she and the Obama administration complied with open records laws.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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