Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, said in a recent deposition with Judicial Watch that the former secretary of State would sometimes destroy her daily schedules – an admission characterized by one former diplomat as shocking and rarely, if ever, done.
“If there was a schedule that was created that was her secretary of State daily schedule and a copy of that was then put in the burn bag, that … that certainly happened on … on more than one occasion,” Abedin said to lawyers for Judicial Watch, the nonprofit that’s taking the lead in suing over the Clinton email server scandal, the New York Post reported.
Abedin’s comments came in response to a question from the attorney that went like this: “And during your tenure at the State Department, were you aware of your obligation not to delete federal records or destroy federal records?”
Clinton’s previously admitted to destroying personal emails she characterized as private. But Abedin’s statement of her using “burn bags,” which is a specially constructed container to burn things, is new. And according to at least one former State Department officials, the admission is shocking.
“I spent eight years at the State Department and watched as four U.S. ambassadors and two secretaries of State shared their daily schedules with a variety of State Department employees and U.S. officials,” said Richard Grenell, a former diplomat who served as a spokesman for the United States at the United Nations, the New York Post reported. “I’ve never seen anyone put their schedule in a burn bag, because every one of them had a stage.gov email address and therefore their daily schedules became public records, as required by law.”
John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called Clinton’s actions irresponsible, but then said her schedules could not have been completely destroyed.
“[It was] recklessness,” Bolton said, of the “burn bag” treatment for Clinton’s schedules, the Post reported. “[But] they can’t eliminate it even if they wanted to.”
The Associated Press sued the State Department in 2015 for copies of Clinton’s public and private calendars and schedules from Jan. 21, 2009, through Feb. 1, 2013.