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Cause of Action Institute Asks Lawmakers To Investigate Ex-State Department Employees’ Use Of Clinton Campaign Email Accounts


FEBRUARY 17, 2016

WASHINGTON – Cause of Action Institute is calling on Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz to investigate whether federal employees used email accounts from Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign to conduct official government business. Cause of Action Institute is also demanding that these committee chairmen determine whether additional communications exist that, in violation of the law, were not preserved.

Our letter to the chairmen follows the recent discovery of documents showing the use of official Clinton campaign email addresses by State Department employees.


“The use of campaign-funded email accounts for government business raises a host of potential compliance issues,” said Cause of Action Institute Executive Director Daniel Epstein. “The American taxpayers deserve to know how Washington uses their money – vigilant oversight is necessary to determine why federal officials had access to and control over campaign email accounts and whether these records should be recovered.”


As part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department filed on behalf of The Daily Caller, Cause of Action Institute (“CA Institute”) recently obtained documents showing that former Hillary Clinton campaign aide and State Department employee Cheryl Mills emailed Clinton’s former IT staffer, Bryan Pagliano, at his 2008 campaign address,, to inform him that she had lost her personal Blackberry.

A search of the State Department’s FOIA public reading room shows that the agency has produced ten records revealing both Cheryl Mills and another Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, maintained email accounts during their official tenure. The domain belongs to Friends of Hillary, the principal candidate campaign committee of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Because the public has a right to know whether campaign-funded email accounts were used to evade FOIA and federal records laws, CA Institute is calling on Sen. Grassley and Rep. Chaffetz to investigate these and other questions, such as:

  • What other ex-campaign staffers employed at the State Department or elsewhere in the government continued to use their Hillary Clinton campaign email accounts?
  • Does an email exchange between Sec. Clinton and Ms. Mills with the subject line “My candidacy” (found in the State Dep’t FOIA public reading room) implicate a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from using government time and resources to engage in political and campaign activities?
  • Did Sec. Clinton’s 2008 campaign violate the Federal Campaign Election Act by transferring Ms. Mills’s Blackberry or any other communication devices purchased by the campaign to ex-campaign staffers free of charge?

For historical context, in January 2011, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which investigates political activities by federal agency officials and employees, found that when George W. Bush White House employees used campaign email accounts to coordinate official government policy and travel, they violated the Hatch Act.

These findings were prompted by a 2007 investigation by Rep. Henry Waxman, then-Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who found the White House’s use of Republican National Committee and Bush/Cheney ’04 presidential campaign email accounts constituted violations of the Presidential Records Act – the federal recordkeeping requirements for the President that mirrors the Federal Records Act, which binds agencies like the State Department.

Cause of Action Institute is a government oversight group committed to ensuring that federal regulatory decisions are open, honest, and fair.