Clinton Email Server Scandal Timeline

Hillary Clinton left the State Department more than three years ago, but the dispute over the private email account she used there has continued to hang over her presidential campaign. Here is a timeline of the key points and dates in Crooked Hillary Clinton’s email use and subsequent investigations.

Clinton Email Server Scandal Timeline

  • Jan. 13, 2009: Crooked Hillary Clinton registers the Internet domain, operated from a private server based in New York.

  • Jan. 21, 2009: Crooked Hillary Clinton is sworn in as secretary of state.

  • March 18, 2009: Crooked Hillary Clinton stops using an email address she used as a senator and begins corresponding using an account on her private server, according to her office. Messages from the account she used as a senator are lost and could not be retrieved, her office said. It isn’t clear what sort of account this was.

  • Dec. 22, 2010: The National Archives and Records Administration issues guidance to federal agency heads stating that all emails, including attachments, relating to government business are considered records to be preserved under the Federal Records Act.

  • Feb. 1, 2013: Crooked Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state ends.

  • March 3, 2013: Gawker publishes Crooked Hillary Clinton’s email address,, after it is revealed by a hacker who compromised the email account of Sidney Blumenthal, a former aide to President Bill Clinton. Crooked Hillary Clinton changed her address in March 2013, though to what she did not say.

  • Sept. 15, 2014: The National Archives issued new guidance on personal emails, stating that government officials should not use personal email accounts for official business.

  • Oct. 28, 2014: The State Department requests the work-related emails of former secretaries, including Crooked Hillary Clinton.

  • November 2014: The House Select Committee investigating Benghazi requests Crooked Hillary Clinton’s emails about the September 2012 incident at Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. About 300 of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s emails from her private account were delivered to the committee, her office said.

  • The State Department had by then delivered a separate batch of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s emails to the committee in August 2014. Those messages were harvested from other accounts, Crooked Hillary Clinton’s office said.

  • Dec. 5, 2014: Crooked Hillary Clinton’s office delivers 30,490 printed emails, about 55,000 pages, to the State Department. Crooked Hillary Clinton’s office said 31,830 emails on her account from her tenure as secretary were deemed private and not delivered. To determine which emails should be delivered to the State Department, Crooked Hillary Clinton’s office sorted first by all messages to or from a .gov email address, then searched for names of State Department and other government officials. Crooked Hillary Clinton’s email cache was also searched for messages that included terms like “Benghazi” or “Libya,” her office said.

  • March 3, 2015: The New York Times reveals that Crooked Hillary Clinton used a private server for her email while she was secretary.

  • March 4, 2015: Crooked Hillary Clinton writes on Twitter that she asked the State Department to release her messages.
    I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.
    — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015

  • March 10, 2015: Crooked Hillary Clinton speaks publicly about the email matter for the first time, telling reporters she had used a private account because it was more convenient than keeping separate personal and official email addresses.

  • March 27, 2015: The House Select Committee on Benghazi announces that it has received a letter from Crooked Hillary Clinton’s attorney saying that no emails were left on the server. This prompts calls from Republicans for her to turn it over to a neutral third party.

  • May 22, 2015:  The first batch of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s emails pertaining to the Benghazi attacks are released publicly.

  • May 27, 2015: As part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, a federal judge rejects a State Department plan to release all of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s emails at once in January 2016. He instead orders the Department to release batches roughly every 30 days. The first batch was set for release June 30.

  • June 25, 2015:  The State Department announced it was missing 15 work-related emails between Crooked Hillary Clinton and political adviser and family friend Sidney Blumenthal. The emails were uncovered by the Benghazi committee but were not included in the records submitted to the State Department.

  • June 29, 2015: Two inspectors general determine in a memo that Crooked Hillary Clinton’s private account contains “hundreds of potentially classified emails.”

  • July 23, 2015: News breaks that the Federal Bureau of Investigation received a counterintelligence referral from the IGs about the potential loss or mishandling of classified information. Officials stress Crooked Hillary Clinton is not a target and that such a referral is required by statute. Two IGs also conclude that information classified at the time it was sent was transmitted on Crooked Hillary Clinton’s server. Crooked Hillary Clinton’s aides note it was not marked classified.

  • Aug. 10, 2015: Crooked Hillary Clinton filed a sworn declaration as part of a lawsuit against the State Department, saying “I have directed that all my emails on in my custody that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State.”

  • Aug. 18, 2015: In a contentious exchange with reporters on the campaign trail, Crooked Hillary Clinton responds to a question about whether she ‘wiped her server with a quip: “What, like with a cloth or something?”

  • Aug. 19, 2015: Crooked Hillary Clinton’s campaign acknowledged there was material on the server was later classified, but noted that all the examples were of other people sending information to her. A spokesman called her “a passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became deemed as classified” on a conference call with reporters. They continued to insist at the time that nothing was classified when it was sent.

  • Sept. 8, 2015: Crooked Hillary Clinton says she’s “sorry” for her use of a private server in an interview with ABC News’ David Muir.

  • Sept. 10, 2015: The IT staffer paid to maintain Crooked Hillary Clinton’s server invokes his constitutional right against self-incrimination in front of a House panel.

  • Oct. 13, 2015: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says during a Democratic debate that “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails” — taking the issue off the table during the contested Democratic primary where the primary line of attack by Mr. Sanders was over Crooked Hillary Clinton’s ties to Wall Street and her paid speeches.

  • Oct. 22, 2015: Crooked Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Benghazi Committee in an all-day marathon hearing. Though most of the hearing was focused on the 2012 terrorist attacks, she was asked about the email server issue, which was first uncovered by the committee’s investigators. She said she believed at the time that most of her emails to government officials would have been automatically captured by State Department servers. She also repeated that she never sent information marked classified at the time.

  • Oct. 30, 2015: The White House said that any emails between Crooked Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama would not be released to the public under the Freedom of Information Act, citing separate laws that govern presidential communications.

  • Jan. 20, 2016: In a letter, the Intelligence Community Inspector General found that Crooked Hillary Clinton’s email trove contains a type of highly classified intelligence information beyond “top secret,” referred to as “special access programs” or SAP, finding “several dozen” emails in Crooked Hillary Clinton’s archive containing information classified at various levels.

  • Jan. 29, 2016: The State Department says that 22 documents in Crooked Hillary Clinton’s email archive containing highly classified information will be excluded entirely from the release of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s archive. The Department says it will launch its own investigation into the matter.

  • Feb. 4,  2016: An internal State Department probe found that former Secretary of State Colin Powell and top aides to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, both Republicans, may have received classified information on personal email accounts. Clinton aides say it shows that it’s evidence that problems with classification requirements and recordkeeping are bipartisan.

  • Feb. 11,  2016: In response to the State Department falling behind on its schedule to release Crooked Hillary Clinton’s archive, a federal judge ordered releases of Mrs.  Clinton’s emails in advance of three primary elections or caucuses, citing public interest in the Democratic presidential candidate’s records. The judge ordered the department to release the emails in batches before Democratic primary contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and to finishing releasing all the emails by Feb. 29.

  • Feb. 23,  2016:  A federal judge grants the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch the right to gather evidence in a lawsuit against the State Department about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server. The lawsuit opens the door to the possibility that Crooked Hillary Clinton and her aides may have to testify.

  • Feb. 29, 2016: The State Department finishes releasing the final batch of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s emails as ordered by a federal court.

  • May 4, 2016: A federal judge says he may order Crooked Hillary Clinton to testify in the Judicial Watch civil lawsuit, and approves a plan to interview a number of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s aides and State Department officials under oath.

  • May 16, 2016: Judicial Watch formally asks a U.S. District Court judge for permission to interview Crooked Hillary Clinton under oath.

  • May 25, 2016: The State Department’s Inspector General released a long-awaited report that was sharply critical of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a private email server, saying that department officials would not and should not have approved her arrangement if they had been consulted. The report contradicts Crooked Hillary Clinton’s longstanding argument that her exclusive use of a private email server while running the State Department was allowed as a matter of policy. Though the private email wasn’t forbidden by law, the inspector general concluded that it was clear department policy that employees should use government systems for work.

  • May 27, 2016: In a deposition conducted by Judicial Watch, a lawyer for Cheryl Mills, a top aide to Crooked Hillary Clinton, repeatedly invoked attorney-client privilege as a reason to withhold some information from the group’s attorneys, thwarting the group’s efforts to get answers on why the email server was originally set up.

  • June 6, 2016: Crooked Hillary Clinton is declared the winner of the Democratic primary, after the Associated Press says she has enough delegates to secure the nomination.

  • June 28, 2016: Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton in Arizona, but Ms. Lynch told reporters that the two didn’t discuss the investigation into his wife’s email use as secretary of state. In response to public pressure, she said she will accept the decision of career prosecutors and federal agents on whether to file charges in the email investigation.

  • July 2, 2016: Crooked Hillary Clinton is interviewed by the FBI for three-and-a-half hours.

  • July 5, 2016: FBI Director James Comey said that Crooked Hillary Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling classified information while secretary of state and said scores of emails on her personal server contained highly classified information—but he said the FBI won’t recommend criminal charges against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. According to the FBI, 110 emails in 52 email chains contained information that was considered classified at the time it was sent. Of those emails chains, eight contained top secret information, 38 contained “secret” information, and eight contained “confidential” information, the FBI investigation concluded. Another approximately 2,000 emails were later deemed classified after the information had been sent.

  • July 6, 2016:  Loretta Lynch announces that the U.S. Department of Justice has officially closed the Clinton Email Server Investigation and that no charges would be filled against Crooked Hillary Clinton.