Kerry: State Dept. staffers can't use private server

State Department staffers are not allowed to use private servers for official classified business, Secretary John KerryJohn KerrySenators who have felt McCain's wrath talk of their respect for him Dems see huge field emerging to take on Trump Budowsky: Dems need council of war MORE told the Senate on Tuesday.

“In today’s world, given all that we’ve learned and what we understand about the vulnerability of our system, we don’t do that, no,” Kerry said while testifying in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

ADVERTISEMENT
The remark, which came in response to a question from Sen. Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonCruz: Tax reform chances ‘drop significantly’ if healthcare fails GOP frets over stalled agenda Conservatives target Congress, not Trump, after healthcare collapse MORE (R-Wis.), serves as an orchestrated Republican jab at Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump backers eye GOP primary challenges for Flake, Heller Franken: Trump Jr., Manafort need to testify under oath Special counsel investigators pushing Manafort for cooperation: report MORE, whose exclusive use of a private server and email account while secretary of State has roiled GOP critics in Washington. 

Republicans have for months hammered Clinton on her email arrangement, which some critics claim should lead to criminal charges for mishandling classified information. More than 1,700 emails from Clinton's machine have been classified at some level upon release. 

Clinton’s personal server is currently in the hands of the FBI, which has launched an investigation connected to the matter.  

A video clip of Tuesday’s exchange in the Senate was distributed by the Republican National Committee.

The State Department has previously made clear that Clinton’s bespoke setup would not be allowed under current rules.

“We have very specific procedures in place in the department,” Kerry told Johnson on Tuesday. “I brought in an inspector general. I wrote a letter to the inspector general asking him to review our entire process.”

Legislation signed into law since Clinton left office would likely make a similar case illegal. Since the law was not in place at the time, however, Clinton’s email setup was not in and of itself a violation of federal recordkeeping laws.