State Department Disabled Security Features Blocking Clinton's Private Email

New emails show officials removed anti-spam software on the government server.

June 23, 2016, 2:13 PM

— -- Newly released emails show State Department IT staffers temporarily disabled security features on the department’s email system in order to accommodate then–Secretary Hillary Clinton’s emails from her private server — which the government server was treating as spam.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said that "technicians implemented a series of troubleshooting measures to the department’s system," adding that the adjustments mentioned in the emails are not uncommon and that the department has multiple layers of email security protections.

"To be clear — spam filters were not permanently turned off as this was merely a troubleshooting exercise," Kirby said in a statement to ABC News. “The department has several tools to block spam, only one of which was involved in this troubleshooting exercise.”

The previously unseen emails were released under court order to the conservative legal advocacy group, Judicial Watch, after it sued the State Department for access. The emails had been referenced in last month’s report by the State Department’s inspector general, which concluded Clinton’s use of private email would not have been allowed had she sought approval to use it.

The emails show that, late in 2010, Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin — who used that same home-brewed server — was concerned that outgoing emails were not being received. Resolving the issue became a top priority for the department’s technical staff. One employee said that it “should trump all other activities,” according to the emails.

Following much deliberation, the IT staffers at the State Department decided to temporarily disable at least one “anti-spam filter.” After the fixes were made, one staffer wrote, “We view this as a Band-Aid and fear it is not 100% full effective.”

Secretary Clinton and her campaign have long-maintained her email has never been hacked. Donald Trump claimed yesterday that it had in fact been hacked by foreign adversaries, but offered no evidence to back up that accusation. Other emails show that hacking was a concern among those who maintained Clinton's private email server, so much so that it had to be shut down at one point to prevent a possible intrusion.

Judicial Watch is expected today to release the deposition transcript of Clinton’s personal IT staffer, Bryan Pagliano, who was interviewed on Wednesday as part of a lawsuit concerning Hillary Clinton’s use of private email. Judicial Watch told ABC it estimates Pagliano plead the Fifth Amendment 125 times.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events