Hillary Clinton has instructed her attorney to hand over her private email server and a thumb drive of all her work-related emails to the Justice Department in an effort to blunt an expanding probe into the use of a private email account.
Clinton, now the Democratic presidential front-runner, “directed her team to give her email server that was used during her tenure as (Secretary of State) to the Department of Justice, as well as a thumb drive containing copies of her emails already provided to the State Department,” her spokesman, Nick Merrill, told CNN early Tuesday evening. “She pledged to cooperate with the government’s security inquiry, and if there are more questions, we will continue to address them.”
Merril said in the meantime, Clinton’s team “has worked with the State Department to ensure her emails are stored in a safe and secure manner.”
The FBI, which is handling the matter, declined to comment Tuesday evening. David E. Kendall, Clinton’s lawyer, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
For Clinton, the move — which Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner have urged for months — indicates her campaign sees a growing risk in the issue of her use of a private email server, which has stoked concerns about her trustworthiness.
Since news of her use of a personal email address on a server kept in her Chappaqua, New York, home broke in March, Clinton has insisted that she’s turned over all of her work-related emails to the State Department and deleted all others — but wouldn’t turn over her server to the government.
Clinton has been dogged by poll numbers showing that more Americans — by a margin of about 20 percentage points — say she’s not trustworthy rather than trustworthy. A late July CNN/ORC found that 58% of all registered voters say it is extremely important that the next president be honest and trustworthy.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement Tuesday night that releasing the server does little to answer questions about Clinton’s honesty.
“If Hillary Clinton believed in honesty and transparency, she would have turned over her secret server months ago to an independent arbiter, not as a last resort and to the Obama Justice Department,” he said. “Of course, if she really cares about transparency, she would never have had a secret server in the first place.”
CNN’s Evan Perez and Eric Bradner contributed to this report.