Lew pressed on Clinton emails

Lew pressed on Clinton emails
© Lauren Schneiderman

Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint MORE faced pressure from GOP lawmakers about whether he knew how Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report A question for Robert Mueller 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 DuffyHouse asks Facebook: 'What is Libra?' House votes against striking Pelosi remarks from record GOP demands that Pelosi remarks be removed from record 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 GarrettBiz groups take victory lap on Ex-Im Bank Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im 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 Andrew BoehnerBoehner won't say whether he'd back Biden over Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Amash's critics miss the fact that partisanship is the enemy of compromise 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.