The race for US presidentship is heating up what with Hillary admitting to FBI that Collin Powell; the then secretary of state had warned her about the usage of private email to initiate government communication.
In fact, in one of the messages, he categorically states that any business communication originating from private or government email account is treated as official data of the government.
The revelation of facts is startling and might adversely impact the election campaign of Hillary Clinton but to what extent is still debatable. Adding to her woes was the usage of person blackberry phone for government communication even when federal blackberry sets were issued in large numbers to diplomatic and military personnel in the era of 2009-2012 when she was heading the state department. On the record, the presidential candidate mentioned that she continued to use the personal blackberry phone for business during her tenure as a senator.
In one of the interviews to FBI, she candidly accepted that Powell warned her not to reveal information that she was using personal BlackBerry for official communication as it would have subjected her to a federal violation of information access.
In addition, Clinton testified about applying for the federal phone but had no inkling why the request was never accepted by the federal authorities. A weird twist to the email saga occurred just before the tragic Benghazi attack when her personal Blackberry phone malfunctioned.
More skeletons came out of the cupboard when FBI filed the latest report mentioning that Executive Secretary of State Department readily agreed to the issue of a new federal BlackBerry phone to Clinton with forewarning to her chief of staff about the recording of communication flow as a part of government records.
It was impinging on her privacy as the team decided not to opt for the government phone and continued with the personal one.
FBI report leaked into the media was compiled into PDF files with screenshots of the pages rather than textual information.
Therefore, searching the content was not possible for the readers using the keywords. In the exhaustive interview with the intelligence agency, Clinton mentions Powell’s name only once but probably the content is located within the pages of the report that have been completely obscured from the public’s visibility.
With all the stories swirling around, it can now be safely inferred that Powell is clean as he already warned Clinton about the usage of a personal account for government communication but she didn’t pay heed to his advice or was unable to understand the seriousness of the situation.
Moreover, he did not in any way contribute to his decision of setting a separate email account as it was alleged earlier in the media trial.
More so an afterthought, FBI report also added that Powell when appointed as a secretary of state department strongly wished to keep his AOL email account, therefore the department immediately sprung into action and created OpenNET for non-secured email communication.
In the ensuing saga of the controversies flying thick and fast, Powell was a staunch supporter of Clinton as his stint with republican under the Bush regime was fraught with tension. Further to rub salt into the wounds of his fellow republicans, he even supported Obama’s candidature but the election season changed all that when Clinton told she was advised by Powell to use personal account compelling the ex-general to come out with all guns blazing.