Hillary Clinton's Emails: Unanswered Questions About Deleted Correspondence

Clinton addressed her decision "not to keep" more than 30,000 emails.

ByABC News
March 10, 2015, 5:41 PM

— -- Hillary Clinton was likely hoping to put the issue of her use of a private email account to rest by hosting a news conference, but more than a few questions remain unanswered.

The former Secretary of State, who addressed the media shortly after giving a speech at the United Nations about women's empowerment, did not use a government email account during her tenure as the U.S.'s top diplomat.

She said today that the reason for the use of one, personal account was convenience, though that does not explain the issue fully.

Here are some of the questions that remain unanswered following Clinton's news conference.

Why did she delete her personal emails?

Clinton argued that she had a number of emails about personal issues that should not be considered part of the public domain.

"No one wants their personal emails made public, and I think most people understand that and respect that privacy," Clinton said today.

How do we know what she deleted?

Clinton’s word is really the only check that the public will have on this front. The emails that she chose not to keep included emails "about planning Chelsea's wedding or my mother's funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes," she said.

Will the public ever know what emails she sent?

Yes, but only the emails that Clinton and her team have deemed related to her work as Secretary of State, and then from there, only what the State Department approved. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that once cleared, the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton handed over will be shared publicly on a government website though not for several months.

When it comes to her personal emails, the public will never know. Today, Clinton ruled out an independent review of her server.

How many emails did she have? And how many pertained to work?

Clinton amassed 62,320 emails between March 2009 and February 2013 and fewer than half of those had to do with work.

After today's news conference, Clinton's team released a statement clarifying the exact number of work and personal emails, saying that 30,490 were handed over to the State Department because they related to work and 31,830 were deemed "private, personal records."

Her camp clarified that the timeframe for these emails does not exactly match up to her tenure as Secretary of State -- she was sworn in on Jan. 21, 2009 -- but for roughly the first two months she used the email address she had left over from her time as senator. However, her "practice" of emailing individuals who used a government account in order to ensure that they were saved is the only record that exists for that time period. Once she transitioned from that Senate account she no longer had access.

That would mean that she sent 21.5 work emails and 22.46 personal emails per day.

Why didn't she just use a government account for work and a personal account for issues pertaining to her private life?

There was no official answer to this. Clinton said that she chose to use one email address out of "convenience."

"Looking back, it would have been better if I'd simply used a second email account and carried a second phone, but at the time, this didn't seem like an issue," she said.

Was she using a personal account to avoid having her emails recorded on government servers?

Clinton claims that she always knew that her emails to government employees, who used state.gov email addresses, "were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department."

Wasn’t she breaking the rules by using a personal email account rather than a government address?

Clinton maintained that she "fully complied with every rule I was governed by." She did not directly address a 2005 update in the Foreign Affairs Manual codified by the State Department that ruled employees could only use private email accounts for official business if they turned those emails over to be entered into government computers. That ruling also forbade State Department employees from including "sensitive but unclassified" information on private email, except for some very narrow exceptions. She did, however, note that she never sent classified information via email.

Why did she think that it was acceptable to use a private server to host her emails?

She said that the personal server set up at her house in Chappaqua, New York, was already in place for her husband and his post-presidential career. That said, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bill Clinton has only sent two emails in his entire life, so his use of the system does not necessarily mean that the system is inherently secure.

When asked whether or not her email plan was acceptable by the White House's standards, Clinton said "there are different rules governing the White House than there are governing the rest of the executive branch."

Was her system safe?

"It had numerous safeguards," Clinton said of the server stored at her house. "It was on property, guarded by the Secret Service, and there were no security breaches. So, I think that the use of that server, which started with my husband, certainly proved to be effective and secure."

How many phones did she use?

During today’s news conference, Clinton touted the "convenience" of using one device, but it seems her habits have changed.

Just two weeks ago, during a talk in Silicon Valley, Clinton said that she had both an iPhone and a BlackBerry, though she did not say when exactly she began using both devices.

How will this affect the 2016 race?

She did not answer when asked if this issue has impacted her thinking about her expected presidential run, but Republicans are jumping into the controversy.

Rep. Trent Gowdy, who heads the House committee investigating the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, said that "there is no way to accept" Clinton's explanation and is calling for an independent third party to review her server.

ABC News' Shushannah Walshe, Liz Kreutz and Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.