Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton had the authority to delete emails she deemed personal from the private email account she used as secretary of state, lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department said last week in a court filing.
The filing was entered Wednesday in a public records lawsuit brought by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, according to the Associated Press. DOJ lawyers argued in the filing that Clinton’s personal records are not subject to public records law and that she was within her rights to determine which emails were personal and then delete them.
“There is no question that former Secretary Clinton had authority to delete personal emails without agency supervision — she appropriately could have done so even if she were working on a government server,” the filing said, as quoted by the AP.
Clinton said earlier this year that she deleted roughly half of the 60,000 emails she sent and received from her private account because she deemed them personal.
A spokesperson for the firm that managed Clinton’s private email server, Platte River Networks, said this weekend that the company had no knowledge that the server had been “wiped,” indicating that those deleted emails could still be recovered. The FBI is currently investigating the security of Clinton’s so-called “homebrew” server.