Lew pressed on Clinton emails

Lew pressed on Clinton emails
© Lauren Schneiderman

Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewSenator demands answers from DOJ on Russia bribery probe Koskinen's role in the ObamaCare bailout another reason Trump must terminate him The debt limit is the nation's appendix — get rid of it MORE faced pressure from GOP lawmakers about whether he knew how Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Pelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill MORE handled her emails while both were at the State Department.

While Lew served directly under Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of State, he maintained Tuesday he had no recollection of Clinton’s decision to route all her emails through a private email server rather than a government one. Nor did he recall whether he sent her emails on her private email as opposed to an official government account.

“My general mode of communication with the secretary was meetings and phone calls,” he told lawmakers. “I did email with her from time to time. I don’t remember exactly how it showed up.

“I don’t remember giving it a lot of thought,” he added. “It was a long time ago.”

Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee on the international financial system, several GOP lawmakers took the opportunity to press Lew on his State Department tenure and whether he was aware of the controversial arrangement.

Rep. Sean DuffySean Patrick DuffyThe Republican tax bill will cut thousands of Puerto Rico jobs Rep. Hensarling will push deregulation until retirement GOP lawmaker: Trump-Tillerson tensions are part of the president's 'strategy' MORE (R-Wis.) expressed disbelief that Lew was unaware of her use of private email for official business and accused Lew of dodging questions.

“What I’m assuming is, you knew you were corresponding with her on an account that an unofficial account,” he said. “All of us here understand that you’re saying, ‘I knew there was a nonofficial account, I just don’t want to tell you here.’ ”

Democrats leapt to Lew’s defense, arguing that it was not up to him to monitor every single one of Clinton’s decisions.

“Did you ever read Secretary Clinton’s regular mail?” asked Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.). “Did you tuck her in at night? Did you make sure she brushed her teeth?”

“Maybe other folks don’t have anything to talk about in regards to the economy,” added Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.). “They have nothing of substance … to discuss with you.”       

Still, Rep. Scott GarrettErnest (Scott) Scott GarrettScott Garrett poses real threat to EXIM Bank, small businesses Overnight Finance: Trump repeals consumer arbitration rule | GOP scrambles on tax bill | Trump floats repealing ObamaCare mandate in tax bill | Powell told he'll be picked for Fed chair | Fed holds off on rate hike | Bank nominee gets rough reception Manufacturers increase pressure against Ex-Im nominee Garrett MORE (R-N.J.) pressed Lew on whether he was responsible for policies regarding email use and record retention while at the State Department, where Lew was the deputy secretary of State for management and resources.

Lew described his role as monitoring “a vast array of responsibilities” at the department and said he did not recall any conversation about how Clinton would handle her email.

Like Duffy, Garrett was highly skeptical that Lew did not notice whether he was emailing Clinton at a nongovernment address when he did.

“During that course of two years, you never noticed where her account was coming from?” he asked.

“I was mostly paying attention to the substance I was communicating,” Lew said.

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTrump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election MORE (R-Ohio) said Tuesday Clinton should hand over her private email server to a third party to determine what should be made public. Clinton, who said she used private email as a matter of convenience, has said she already turned over all relevant emails, while deleting personal ones.