On Fox News’ the Kelly File former legal counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney, Shannen Coffin said that there is no doubt in his mind that Hillary Clinton broke the law by not using the governments email system.
“She didn’t comply with the Federal Records Act. And she clearly did not comply with her own records management handbook for the Department of State which sets out a very specific process about how you remove records from the department control…
She didn’t comply with the Federal Records Act. And she clearly did not comply with her own records management handbook for the Department of State which sets out a very specific process about how you remove records from the department control….”
Megyn Kelly: Shannen, good to see you tonight. So, let’s start with the broad brush, which is she followed all the rules, all the rules and she didn’t commit any crimes whatsoever. You’ve been maintaining all along that’s not necessary — it’s not true on the rules and it may not be true on the law if she concealed or destroyed federal records.
Shannen Coffin: It’s demonstrably not true on the rules. She didn’t comply with the Federal Records Act. And she clearly did not comply with her own records management handbook for the Department of State which sets out a very specific process about how you remove records from the department control.
Megyn Kelly: And I want to go through that with you because this, I mean, this is the thing that everybody needs to pay attention to tonight. The language that is in this document which she would have been required to sign prior to leaving the State Department, if she wasn’t that raises an additional set of problems. Here’s the question. Before you leave the State Department you have to jump through a bunch of hoops as it turns out when it comes to your email and your documents including you must prepare an inventory of personal papers and non-record materials that you are proposing for removal. You must then request a review of those materials that you’ve proposed for removal. And then the rule requires the State Department to do what?
Shannen Coffin: The records officials of the State Department have to actually go through those records with her and determine if she wants to remove them, take them with her — she says, these are say personal documents, determine whether they are in fact personal documents — and the State Department records manual says that’s kind of a difficult call. And it requires the professional judgment of a records official. And so that records official will go through with the secretary, all of her records and say, this is in, this is out, you can keep this, this has to stay.
Megyn Kelly: So when she talks about how, look, it’s an honor system and every federal employee gets to sort of cull through their documents when they leave their positions and decide what’s personal and what’s business. She’s right, it is initially an honor system. But what she didn’t disclose is there’s a process built in that has a little check and balance on the honor system where a State Department official, even if you’re dealing with the secretary, is supposed to sit down with her before she leaves and put another set of eyes on it and a set of hands on the documents she means to take with her.
Shannen Coffin: That’s exactly right. And she’s right. Look, every federal employee has to make some sort of threshold determination about whether a document is personal and — or whether it’s official. Now, that — there are very strict standards for that. And the standards say, you know, if there’s any doubt — the State Department standards say — if there’s any doubt you have to default to this being an official document.
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