Now that Hillary Clinton has addressed the matter of her exclusive use of a private email account while serving as secretary of state, it’s clear that correspondence she deemed private has already been scrubbed from her account.
The mechanisms of Clinton’s personal email use were fuzzy from the start of the outrage boomlet last week. While the original New York Times report on Clinton’s use of a private account suggested she may have violated federal regulations, it wasn’t entirely clear which regulations for preserving government records had applied during Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.
Regardless, the former secretary admitted during a Tuesday news conference that she’d deleted a whole trove of emails she judged to be truly private. She described those emails as things “you typically find in inboxes,” like plans for her daughter Chelsea’s wedding or condolence notes to friends.
A nine-page document later issued by Clinton’s office further clarified exactly which documents were provided to the State Department and when they were turned over to the agency, revealing that those personal emails were deleted sometime after Dec. 5 — well into Clinton’s likely presidential campaign.
Here’s a timeline of everything else we know to date about Clinton’s secretive email account.
President Barack Obama nominated Clinton as secretary of state.
January 13, 2009
The clintonemail.com domain was created, Internet records show.
January 21, 2009
The U.S. Senate confirmed Clinton to head up the State Department.
September 11, 2012
Islamic militants attack the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
February 1, 2013
Clinton formally left the State Department.
Clinton’s private email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, was revealed for the first time. The email address surfaced after Romanian hacker Guccifer broke into former White House adviser Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL email account and leaked screenshots of his inbox.
The National Archives and Records Administration issued new guidance on management of federal records, including instructions for using personal email accounts.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced the formation of a Republican-led select committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
The State Department provided some of Clinton’s correspondence to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Clinton’s office said that correspondence was already in the agency’s possession because Clinton had written to department officials who used government email accounts.
October 28, 2014
The State Department sent a letter to the four secretaries of state that preceded John Kerry. Clinton’s office said that the agency sought any work-related emails sent or received at personal email accounts during the officials’ respective tenures.
The House Select Committee on Benghazi sent a letter to the State Department with a broader request for Clinton’s emails, according to her office. The agency said it provided the committee with just under 300 emails relating to Libya.
On Nov. 26, President Obama signed into law an updated version of the Federal Records Act. Under the updated law, officials were required to copy or forward any government-related correspondence on a private account to their official government email address, according to the Wall Street Journal.
December 5, 2014
The Clinton camp said that at this time it provided the State Department with 30,490 work-related emails that totaled about 55,000 printed pages.
It also said Clinton deleted emails she deemed related to her personal life sometime afterward.
“After her work-related emails were identified and preserved, Secretary Clinton chose not to keep her private, personal emails that were not federal records,” the statement from her office read.
March 2, 2015
The New York Times first reported that Clinton may have run afoul of federal regulations by exclusively using a personal email account to conduct business as secretary of state.
The Associated Press reported that the former secretary ’s clintonemail.com address traced back to a private email server at her Chappaqua, New York home. The AP found that the server was registered under a pseudonym.
Clinton addressed the burgeoning email controversy for the first time in public via Twitter. She tweeted that she had asked the State Department to release all her correspondence to the public in the spirit of transparency.
Clinton held a news conference to answer questions about her email use at the United Nations, where she spoke earlier at a women’s empowerment event. She disclosed that she deleted a trove of emails related to her personal life and insisted that any work-related correspondence had been turned over to the State Department.
The Associated Press filed suit against the State Department to force the release of Clinton’s emails, as well as other documents from her tenure at that the news service had requested under the Freedom of Information Act without a response from the agency.