Back in April of 2007, when she was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination for the first time, then-Senator Hillary Clinton lashed out at the secrecy of the George W. Bush administration.
She told a New Hampshire audience that if elected she would implement a “plan to enhance accountability and transparency” and “to replace secrecy and mystery with openness.” One part of her plan: “It’s time our government went fully online as well.”
She lost her White House bid. But 20 months later, before Barack Obama took that job and she became secretary of state, she set up a private computer server registered to her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., to handle all her official, as well as private, emails for the next four years. Her decision — a secret until earlier this month — impeded efforts by the press and others to review State Department actions.
Today it is Hillary Clinton’s record of transparency that has come under fire. At a press conference Tuesday, she acknowledged that in retrospect “it would’ve been better for me to use two separate phones and two email accounts.” She has asked the State Department to release her official emails, a process that could take months.
Few public figures have been as scrutinized as Hillary Clinton. Sometimes her disclosures go beyond what is required, but she’s also racked up a reputation for secrecy that at times has returned to haunt her.
Here are five examples covering the last two decades. Some are drawn from a 2007 book I did, with Don Van Natta Jr., entitled “Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Little Brown & Co.) Clinton’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.