Hillary Clinton hands over private e-mail server to US Justice Department

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking at a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Aug 10.
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking at a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Aug 10.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's lawyer has given the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Mrs Clinton's private e-mail server and a thumb drive of work-related e-mails from her tenure as secretary of state, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday, quoting a campaign spokesman.

Mrs Clinton's use of her private e-mail for her work as America's top diplomat came to light in March and drew fire from political opponents who accused her of sidestepping transparency and record-keeping laws. The private account was linked to a server in her New York home.

Mr David Kendall, Mrs Clinton's lawyer, and Mr Nick Merrill, the Clinton spokesman, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A Justice Department spokesman said she did not have any information at this time to share with reporters. Mr Michael Kortan, an FBI spokesman, wrote in an e-mail that he had "nothing to say."

The FBI recently began looking into the security of the federal records and classified information contained among Mrs Clinton's e-mails. The US government considers federal records to be government property.

The Justice Department has said the FBI began investigating after the inspector-general who oversees the US intelligence agencies, Mr I. Charles McCullough III, formally notified them of his concern that there was classified information not in the government's control.

Throughout her four years as secretary of state under President Barack Obama, Mrs Clinton eschewed an official state.gov e-mail address in favor of a private clintonemail.com e-mail account run from a home computer server.

At least one senior aide, Mr Huma Abedin, also used the server for some work e-mails. Mrs Clinton said the unusual arrangement broke no rules that were in force at the time.

Last December, she provided what she said were copies of all the work e-mails she had in her possession, nearly two years after she stepped down as secretary of state.

Mrs Clinton handed over about 30,000 e-mails she sent and received, although her staff have since acknowledged without explanation that some work e-mails are missing. She did not hand over another 30,000 e-mails from this period that she deemed personal and said she chose "not to keep".

The State Department has been steadily releasing the e-mails to the public in keeping with Mrs Clinton's request after redacting parts of them to remove sensitive or classified information.

A number of polls in recent months have found that more than half of voters find Mrs Clinton untrustworthy, although she remains the favorite to win the Democratic Party's nomination for the presidential election in November 2016.

The development was quickly seized by Mrs Clinton's Republican opponents as a chance to portray her not worthy of the White House.

"If Hillary Clinton believed in honesty and transparency, she would have turned over her secret server months ago to an independent arbiter, not as a last resort and to the Obama Justice Department," Mr Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement.