On Wednesday, the State Department said in a court filing that Blackberry devices issued to Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills have either been destroyed or sold, The Hill reported. State department Executive Secretary Joseph Macmanus said Abedin and Mills “were each issued BlackBerry devices.”
A Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch asked the agency to “identify any and all servers, accounts, hard drives, or other devices currently in the possession or control of the State Department or otherwise that may contain responsive information.” The watchdog organization said the department “made no effort whatsoever” to gather information regarding electronic devices used by Clinton, Abedin and Mills.
The agency, however, fired back in a court filing, saying it “has not located any such device,” and believes they would have either been sold or destroyed. According to Macmanus, the devices would have been outdated and handled according to standard operating procedures.
State Department spokesman John Kirby also confirmed the devices were turned in when they left the agency. But, he added, he has “no idea” where they are now.
“It’s also likely, because this was a while ago, that those devices may have been destroyed,” he explained. “I don’t have the records of it because they were old and outmoded and often times we purchase new devices” in those circumstances.
The State Department also said that Clinton used a personal Blackberry that was not issued by the government. According to the filing, the Department “does not believe that any personal computing device was issued by the department to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has not located any such device at the department.”
The ongoing email scandal has been a drag on the Clinton campaign, with some on the left criticizing her handling of the issue. “Hillary Clinton is her own worst enemy,” reads the headline of an article by Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.
“Even if your name is Clinton, you have no right to unilaterally decide what is included and what is not,” he wrote. “So I wish Hillary Clinton would be respectful enough to say, ‘I’m sorry. I was wrong.’ I wish she wouldn’t insult our intelligence by claiming she only did what other secretaries of state had done. None of her predecessors, after all, went to the trouble and expense of a private e-mail server.”
Clinton, however, maintains she has done nothing wrong. As we reported Wednesday, she brushed off questions from reporters regarding news that the server in question was maintained in a bathroom closet of a loft apartment.
“The questions just keep popping up,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Every time the State Department tries to justify its stonewalling, one more bit of information arises.”