Clinton doubles down on email defense

A defiant Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDershowitz to The Atlantic: Do not violate Constitution to safeguard it Why Joe Biden (or any moderate) cannot be nominated GOP Rep. Tom Marino resigns from Congress MORE is defending her email record as secretary of State, arguing that she went "above and beyond" her legal responsibility to turn over her correspondences.


"Everything that I did was permitted. There was no law, there was no regulation, there was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate," Clinton said in an interview last week that was rebroadcast Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" program.

Clinton cited her lack of technological know-how as the reason she chose to use a personal account to send emails during her tenure in the State Department –– thousands of which she has since deleted.

"Previous secretaries of State have said they did the same thing, and people across the government knew that I used one device," she argued. "Maybe it was because I'm not the most technically capable person and wanted to make it easy as possible."

Clinton also rejected the notion that she has ignored a congressional subpoena to release more records.

"I've never had a subpoena," she said.

Republicans have a decidedly different view.

Last week, the House Select Committee on Benghazi –– a special panel created by GOP leaders to examine the Sept. 11, 2012, fatal attack on a U.S. consulate there –– released its subpoena to Clinton, which it issued in March.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who heads the special committee, hammered Clinton last week, saying she has a "statutory duty to preserve records from her time in office."

"[S]he had a legal duty to cooperate and tell the truth with congressional investigators requesting her records, and she was personally subpoenaed the moment the Benghazi Committee became aware of her exclusive use of personal email and a server, and that the State department was not the custodian of her official record," Gowdy said in a statement.

The controversy has haunted Clinton, the front-running Democratic presidential contender, on the campaign trail, with Republicans highlighting the issue at every turn.

But Clinton said Sunday that her email practices were all above-board, done with the full knowledge of government officials.

"I had one device. When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system," she told CNN. "Now, I didn't have to turn over anything. I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system."

--This report was updated at 10:48 a.m.