Lew pressed on Clinton emails

Lew pressed on Clinton emails
© Lauren Schneiderman

Treasury Secretary Jack LewJack LewEU slaps Google with record .7B antitrust fine for skewing search results White House divide may derail needed China trade reform 3 unconventional ways Trump can tackle the national debt MORE faced pressure from GOP lawmakers about whether he knew how Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDem senator: Pardoning targets of Russia probe would be 'crossing a fundamental line' Trump officials: Russia meddled in the election Trump lawyers asking about presidential pardon powers: report 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 DuffyOvernight Finance: GOP offers measure to repeal arbitration rule | Feds fine Exxon M for Russian sanctions violations | Senate panel sticks with 2017 funding levels for budget | Trump tax nominee advances | Trump unveils first reg agenda Realtors endorse House flood insurance extension The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 GarrettScott GarrettHeitkamp breaks with Dems on regulations Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Trump should work with Congress to kill the Export-Import Bank 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 BoehnerSudan sanctions spur intense lobbying OPINION | GOP's 7-year ObamaCare blood oath ends in failure A simple fix to encourage bipartisanship in the House 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.