Clinton email report changes few minds

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Email Headaches For Clinton

The latest development in of the ongoing examination of Hillary Clinton's email came Wednesday, when the State Department Inspector General released its report finding the former secretary of state ran afoul of federal policy in her use of a private email server.

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And while it reflected poorly on Clinton's decision-making while serving as the nation's top diplomat, the report – which also criticized other former secretaries of state – seemed unlikely to dramatically change the conversation around her campaign or her abilities if she becomes president.

Questions swirling around Clinton's choice to eschew a State Department email address in favor of a personal account and whether she mishandled sensitive information have hung over her campaign since the server became public knowledge last March.

See Clinton's testify on Benghazi:

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Hillary Clinton testifies on Benghazi 10/21
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Clinton email report changes few minds
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, to testify before the House Benghazi Committee. After months of buildup, Hillary Rodham Clinton finally takes center stage as the star witness in the Republican-led investigation into the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton waits to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, walks past members of the media as she arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, to testify before the House Benghazi Committee. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, arrives to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, before the House Select Committee on Banghazi. After months of buildup, Hillary Rodham Clinton finally takes center stage as the star witness in the Republican-led investigation into the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton arrives to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes her seat prior to testifying before the House Select Committee on Benghazi October 22, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing to continue its investigation on the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on the evening of September 11, 2012. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton waits to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks toward the dais as she settles into her seat on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, prior to testifying before the House Benghazi Committee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton arrives to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton takes her seat on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, prior to testifying before the House Benghazi Committee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Clinton said that she accepted responsibility for a lethal 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya and that she sought afterward to improve security for State Department workers abroad, as the House Benghazi panel investigating the incident began a hearing that may prove a turning point for her presidential campaign. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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The IG report, released to members of Congress Wednesday, identified unsatisfactory practices at the State Department going back several administrations, blaming officials for being "slow to recognize and manage effectively the legal requirements and cybersecurity risks" that emerged when email and cell phones became dominant forms of communication. But it singled out Clinton in particular for her failure to adequately preserve her communications, as is required by federal law, and for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

Republicans pounced, citing the report as proof that Clinton dangerously erred and put American's safety at risk.

The "findings are the latest chapter in the long saga of Hillary Clinton's bad judgment that broke federal rules and endangered our national security," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. "The stakes are too high to entrust the White House to someone with as much poor judgment and reckless disregard for the law as Hillary Clinton."

See Clinton on the campaign trail:

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Hillary Clinton rallies in Ohio
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Clinton email report changes few minds
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Former President Bill Clinton greets attendees as he campaigns for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, at the Ohio Education Association, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Former President Bill Clinton, center left, has pictures taken with attendees as he campaigns for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at the Ohio Education Association in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Former Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael B. Coleman listens as former President Bill Clinton speaks while campaigning for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, at the Ohio Education Association, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Attendees take cell phone photos of President Bill Clinton as he campaigns for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, at the Ohio Education Association, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton reacts after being introduced before speaking during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Supporters cheer as Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Supporters watch as Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
A man holds up an iPad to get a photo of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton shakes hands with supporters after speaking during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton steps to the podium to speak during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
An attendee wears a sticker on her cheek while waiting to hear Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, speak during a campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Clinton and Bernie Sanders made last bids for support in Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday, with both arguing they would be able to navigate the gridlock in Washington that's spawned anger among voters of both political parties. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during a campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Clinton and Bernie Sanders made last bids for support in Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday, with both arguing they would be able to navigate the gridlock in Washington that's spawned anger among voters of both political parties. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, stands for a photograph with an attendee during a campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Clinton and Bernie Sanders made last bids for support in Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday, with both arguing they would be able to navigate the gridlock in Washington that's spawned anger among voters of both political parties. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speak during a campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Clinton and Bernie Sanders made last bids for support in Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday, with both arguing they would be able to navigate the gridlock in Washington that's spawned anger among voters of both political parties. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee wears a button in support of Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, during a campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Clinton and Bernie Sanders made last bids for support in Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday, with both arguing they would be able to navigate the gridlock in Washington that's spawned anger among voters of both political parties. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendees stand for the Pledge of Allegiance during a campaign event for Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Clinton and Bernie Sanders made last bids for support in Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday, with both arguing they would be able to navigate the gridlock in Washington that's spawned anger among voters of both political parties. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, shakes hands with attendants while arriving to speak during a campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Clinton and Bernie Sanders made last bids for support in Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday, with both arguing they would be able to navigate the gridlock in Washington that's spawned anger among voters of both political parties. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CLEVELAND, OH - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to a gym full of supporters at Cuyahoga Community College during an election night rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday March, 8, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - Supporters listen to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she speaks in a full gym at Cuyahoga Community College during an election night rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday March, 8, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
An American flag is seen in the jacket pocket of an attendee during a campaign event for Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Clinton and Bernie Sanders made last bids for support in Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday, with both arguing they would be able to navigate the gridlock in Washington that's spawned anger among voters of both political parties. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CLEVELAND, OH - At Cuyahoga Community College, Clinton supporters wait at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday March, 8, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - At Cuyahoga Community College, Clinton supporters pledge allegiance at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday March, 8, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - At Cuyahoga Community College, Clinton supporters wait at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday March, 8, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - Supporters listen to primary results just before former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to a full gym at Cuyahoga Community College during an election night rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday March, 8, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - Supporters listen to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she speaks in a full gym at Cuyahoga Community College during an election night rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday March, 8, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - At Cuyahoga Community College, Clinton supporters pledge allegiance at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday March, 8, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
An attendee waits for Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, during a campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, scored an upset win over Clinton in the Michigan Democratic primary, overcoming the double-digit lead she held in polls ahead of the vote and proving he can win in a diverse industrial state. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CLEVELAND, OH - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to a gym full of supporters at Cuyahoga Community College during an election night rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday March, 8, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 8: Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Recreation Center on the campus of the Cuyahoga Community College, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio. Clinton is campaigning in Ohio ahead of the primary on March 15. (Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images)
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South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the special committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, whose probe first discovered Clinton's server, said the report vindicated his committee's work.

"There is only one reason why these facts are now available to the American people," he said, "thorough congressional oversight, including the Select Committee on Benghazi's insistence that any truly comprehensive review of what happened before, during, and after the 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya must include public records from the former Secretary of State and her senior staff."

Gowdy's committee, which has been working for more than two years, has been accused waging a partisan witch hunt against the likely Democratic nominee.

"While the emails have never been the focus of our investigation, it was necessary to obtain them, and this committee is the first and only one to do so," he said. "If anyone wonders why the investigation is not yet complete, the malfeasance and numerous problems identified in this report are Exhibit A, and prove the committee has faced serial delays from day one at the hands of public officials who sought to avoid transparency and accountability."

But Clinton's presidential campaign downplayed the report, claiming it vindicated Clinton's assertion she had acted in line with the examples set by her predecessors.

"While political opponents of Hillary Clinton are sure to misrepresent this report for their own partisan purposes, in reality, the Inspector General documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email," said Brian Fallon, Clinton's national press secretary. "Contrary to the false theories advanced for some time now, the report notes that her use of personal email was known to officials within the Department during her tenure, and that there is no evidence of any successful breach of the Secretary's server."

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has not shied away from criticizing Clinton, whom he calls "crooked."

"She had a little bad news today," Trump said at a rally in California Wednesday afternoon, predicting a Clinton administration would be "nothing but turmoil." "Not good ... she's got horribly bad judgement."

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton's rival for the Democratic nomination, has consistently refused to attack her on the email issue.

"I think the report speaks for itself. This is obviously an area where the senator has chosen not to go," Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said on CNN Wednesday. "He's tried to keep this campaign on the issues."

The other major investigation into Clinton's emails, the FBI probe focused on the handling of classified material, is reportedly in its final stages.

Legal experts agree a criminal indictment is unlikely – although not impossible – in the case.

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