Hillary Clinton. (Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0)

The State Department’s inspector general announced Wednesday that Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton violated agency policy by using a private email server for official business. She did not seek permission to use the private server, the investigator said in a report. She would have been denied permission if she had and she did not cooperate with the department’s investigation, it added.

The New York Times reports:

In a report delivered to members of Congress on Wednesday, the inspector general said that Mrs. Clinton “had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business” with officials responsible for handling records and security but that inspectors “found no evidence” that she had requested or received approval from anyone at the department to conduct her state business on a personal email.

The report also said that department officials “did not — and would not — approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business.”

It also added new detail about Mrs. Clinton’s motivation for using the private server, which she has said was set up for convenience. In November 2010, her deputy chief of staff for operations prodded her about “putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam.” Mrs. Clinton, however, replied that she would consider a separate address or device “but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”

The report, as well as an F.B.I. investigation and other legal challenges seeking information about her use of the server, is certain to keep alive a controversy that has shadowed Mrs. Clinton’s campaign for the presidency. The events have all come to a climax just as she is close to defeating Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Mrs. Clinton and her aides have played down the inquiries, saying that she would cooperate with investigators to put the email issue behind her. Even so, through her lawyers, she declined to be interviewed by the State Department’s inspector general as part of his review. So did several of her senior aides.

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—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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