Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin testified Tuesday that the private email server Clinton chose to use for both personal and government communications may have hindered the former secretary of state's ability to do her job.
Citing an instance in which Clinton missed a call from a foreign minister because aides did not receive her emails on the matter, Abedin testified that the private email arrangement might have interfered with Clinton's ability to carry out her duties.
"So she wasn't able to do her job, do what she needed to do," Abedin said of the incident.
The former deputy chief of staff to Clinton was deposed Tuesday by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch in its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit over Abedin's personnel records.
Abedin also testified that, to her knowledge, only she, Clinton and Clinton's daughter Chelsea used accounts hosted by the "clintonemail.com" server.
Although Clinton claimed in March 2015 and many times since to have used private email in order to consolidate her communications on a single device, Abedin confirmed reports that Clinton had used multiple devices to access her emails.
"It was not her practice to do so, but when her system on her BlackBerry went down, there was a period where I know she did use her email on her iPad for maybe a week or two, if I remember correctly," she said.
Abedin acknowledged that using a "state.gov" email account for official communications rather than her "clintonemail.com" account was the "right thing" to do when sending government messages.
"So I — I always tried to do the right thing and tried to be on my State.gov BlackBerry. That was my practice. And using Clinton email was not — was not something that I — I understood as my primary work e-mail, aside from personal matters as they related to the Secretary and her family and her friends, and then my personal e-mails," she said.
The longtime Clinton aide dismissed suggestions that the secretary's private email address was unknown to the administration, as an inspector general recently noted in a scathing report about State Department record-keeping.
"It wasn't a secret that she was using this email account to be communicating with U.S. government officials, because they were receiving emails from her," Abedin said.
The lawsuit that forced Abedin's testimony, as well as depositions with six other Clinton aides, is seeking records of the unusual employment arrangement that allowed Abedin to collect simultaneous paychecks from the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and a consulting firm called Teneo Strategies.
Abedin defended her "clintonemail.com" communications with the secretary of state by arguing that, in some cases, their emails contained both work-related and personal issues.
"The instances where it was Clintonemail [communicating with another account hosted by] Clintonemail, there were instances where the content of those e-mails had personal matters in there, and there may have also been State Department matters in there, too. It was a — a combination," Abedin testified.