Colin Powell

Colin Powell

WASHINGTON – Why did she do it?

Why did Hillary Clinton use a personal email account with a private server in her home to traffic in state secrets and classified information?

That’s what the FBI wanted to know during its investigation.

Her story to the FBI, according to notes turned over the Congress this week, was that former Secretary of State Colin Powell advised her to do so.

But that, too, was a fib.

It seems another email from 2009 recovered by the FBI reveals she had already decided to use a private email account when she asked Powell about his own practices, the New York Times reports today.

Powell did not use a private, insecure email server during his tenure at the head of the State Department.

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Joe Conason, author of an upcoming new book on the post-presidency of Bill Clinton, “Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton,” reports a conversation between Mrs. Clinton and Powell in the early months of her post as secretary of state.

“Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer,” Conason related. Conason added: “Saying that his use of personal email had been transformative for the department,” Powell “thus confirmed a decision she had made months earlier — to keep her personal account and use it for most messages.”

Conason is a longtime defender of the Clintons and interviewed both Bill and Hillary for the book coming out next month.

A State Department inspector general report released in May said that Mr. Powell and other senior officials had used personal email accounts for official business, but that by the time Mrs. Clinton took office the rules were clear that using a private server in such a manner was neither allowed nor encouraged because of “significant security risks.”

The practice of Mrs. Clinton’s use a personal account and insecure server has raised questions that go beyond national security. It’s the account she also used to solicit donations for her foundation from both foreign and corporate interests while conducting government business.

On Thursday, the Clinton Foundation announced it would no longer accept foreign or corporate funds should Mrs. Clinton win in November.

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