A collection of records made public Wednesday indicates State Department officials attempted to give Hillary Clinton a government email account to use while she was secretary of state, contradicting previous claims from agency officials that no such account was ever set up.
But the email account, SSHRC@state.gov, went unused after a State Department official warned one of Clinton's aides in Aug. 2011 that messages sent to and from the address would be "subject to [Freedom of Information Act] searches."
The records, which were referenced but not published in an inspector general report released last month, were obtained by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch.
In a Nov. 2010 email, Huma Abedin, then Clinton's deputy chief of staff, advised the secretary of state to consider opening an official email account after Clinton failed to receive messages from government staff who had been attempting to reach her.
"We should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam," Abedin wrote.
But Clinton expressed concern that doing so would expose her private email network.
"Let's get separate address or device, but I don't want any risk of the personal being accessible," Clinton replied.
Other emails included in the batch made public Wednesday suggested Clinton's email server weathered frequent outages and even, on at least one occasion, attempted cyberattacks.
"[S]omeone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in i didnt [sic] want to let them have the chance to," wrote Justin Cooper, an adviser to former President Bill Clinton, in Jan. 2011.
Hours later, Cooper informed Abedin and Doug Band, a close confidante of Bill Clinton's, that the server was "were attacked again so I shut it down for a few min."
Abedin soon instructed other members of Clinton's inner circle not to "email [Clinton] anything sensitive."
"I can explain more in person," Abedin added.
State Department officials testifying in the same FOIA lawsuit that produced the set of emails have stated in their depositions that Clinton was never provided a "state.gov" email account, suggesting her private email use was more of a procedural oversight than a willful rejection of an official address.
But the latest records to trickle out of the agency indicate officials did indeed provide the secretary of state with a government inbox. The documents show that account was even receiving emails up to 2011, more than two years into her State Department tenure.