This story is over 5 years old.

Government Finds Emails With David Petraeus That Hillary Clinton Didn’t Hand Over

The Defense Department found an email chain with the former Centcom commander that Clinton did not give to the State Department to be made public as part of a VICE News FOIA lawsuit.
Photo by Cristobal Herrera/EPA

The US Defense Department has found an email chain that Hillary Clinton did not give to the State Department, the State Department said on Friday, despite her saying she had provided all work emails from her time as secretary of state.

The correspondence with General David Petraeus, who was commander of US Central Command at the time, started shortly before she entered office and continued during her first days as the top US diplomat in January and February of 2009.


The Defense Department provided the emails to the State Department in "the last several days," State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

The exchange of 10 or so emails, the existence of which were first reported by the Associated Press on Friday, largely dealt with personnel issues, according to the State Department.

Clinton's use of a private email account connected to a server in her home instead of a government-issued email address came to light in March. The emails are now being released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by VICE News senior investigative reporter Jason Leopold.

Related: 31,000 Emails That Hillary Clinton Tried to Delete Could Now be Made Public

News of the previously undisclosed email thread only adds to a steady stream of revelations about the emails in the past six months, which have forced Clinton to revise her account of the setup which she first gave in March.

Nearly a third of all Democrats and 58 percent of all voters think Clinton is lying about her handling of her emails, according to a Fox News poll released this week.

The email arrangement has drawn criticism from political opponents who accused the Democratic presidential front-runner of sidestepping transparency and record-keeping laws and of potentially exposing classified information to hackers.

The controversy has cut into Clinton's lead in the race for the Democratic nomination for the November 2016 election.


Jamal Ware, spokesman for the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which wants all Clinton emails concerning the 2012 attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, said the committee would not have a detailed comment until it had received and reviewed the emails.

"If indeed this is a sign the stonewalling and political protection effort that was previously being run by the (State) Department is diminishing, the committee welcomes it," he said. "The proof will be in the production."

Related: Hillary Clinton Says She Was 'Not Thinking' When She Set Up Her Private Email Server

Clinton apologized this month for her email setup, saying it was unwise. But as recently as Sunday, she told CBS when asked about her emails that she provided "all of them."

Last December, she provided what she said were copies of all 30,000 or so work emails she had in her possession, nearly two years after she stepped down as secretary of state.

She did not hand over another 30,000 emails from the period that she deemed personal and said she chose "not to keep."

The emails with Petraeus also appear to contradict the claim by Clinton's campaign that she used a private BlackBerry email account for her first two months at the department before setting up her account in March 2009. This was the reason her campaign gave for not handing over any emails from those two months to the State Department.


The Petraeus exchange shows she started using the account by January 2009, according to the State Department.

Clinton's spokesmen, who did not respond to questions, have acknowledged that other work emails from later in her tenure were also missing from the record Clinton handed over. They have declined to say why.

Related: Hillary Clinton's 'Bleak Week': Emails Show Response to WikiLeaks Revelations

Clinton said previously that she wished she had "made a different choice" when considering whether or to not use the private email server.

"You know, I was not thinking a lot when I got in. There was so much work to be done. We had so many problems around the world," Clinton told NBC News in early September. "I didn't really stop and think what kind of email system will there be?"

Under a federal judge's order, 15 percent of the 35,000 emails are to be released every month. The process has been delayed by intelligence officials combing the messages for information that could be retroactively upgraded to classified status. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now examining Clinton's server as it looks into the possible mishandling of classified information between Clinton and her staff.

The emails released so far have offered intriguing glimpses Clinton's inner world. The disclosures have revealed the State Department's immediate response to the WikiLeaks revelations, the delicate US-Israel relationship in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 Gaza War, and discussions about the prosecution of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, among other topics.

Follow VICE News on Twitter: @vicenews