Washington: In more bad news for Democratic front-runner presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, a federal judge has asserted that she violated government policy by storing official e-mails on a private server when she was the US secretary of state.
"We wouldn't be here today if this employee had followed government policy," said US District Judge Emmet Sullivan, apparently referring to Clinton, on Thursday, according to Politico, an influential Washington news site.
Sullivan, who was hearing one of the many Freedom of Information act lawsuits seeking access to her records as secretary of state, said Clinton's actions had complicated the State Department's ability to respond to requests for records on various topics.
He also ordered the State Department to contact the FBI to determine whether the private server Clinton used, which Clinton turned over to that law enforcement agency earlier this month, contains official records possibly responsive to the FOIA suit.
Clinton has maintained that her use of a private e-mail account during her four years as secretary of state was legal and that the State Department's policy at the time did not prohibit use of a personal account for official business.
"What I did was legally permitted," Clinton said during a campaign stop in Las Vegas Tuesday.
Commenting over the controversy, the Washington Post said: "Clinton's growing problems on the honest/trustworthy questions speak to why the e-mail story is so bad for her."
"It affirms some of the negative stereotypes that people already had about her -- thinks the laws don't apply to her, surrounds herself with people who enable her," it said.
"Clinton needs to find a way to put the story behind her as soon as possible (ASAP). Otherwise she may find herself in a place on the honest/trustworthy question from which she may not be able to recover," the Post said.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)