An internal State Department audit which was just released has concluded that Hillary Clinton broke Federal regulations and record-keeping laws through her use of a private email server, and specifically refuted some of the claims Clinton has repeatedly made about her email arrangement.

Specifically, the report refutes Clinton’s repeated assertion that her use of a private email server was approved for use by the State Department and that it was in accordance with State Department rules:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton violated federal records rules through her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, a State Department audit has concluded.

“At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department issues before leaving government service,” says an audit by the State Department Inspector General, obtained by NBC News.

“Because she did not do so, she did not comply with the [State] Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

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But the audit says that “sending emails from a personal account to other employees at their Department accounts is not an appropriate method of preserving any such emails that would constitute a federal record.”

Clinton has also said her use of a personal email server did not violate the rules at the time.

The audit says that none of the senior State Department officials in charge of information security were asked to approve Clinton’s email arrangement. They would not have done so if asked, they said, according to the audit.

This is the first, and easiest to decide, issue with respect to Clinton’s use of her email server. It is manifestly obvious, and has been from the beginning, that Clinton’s use of the private email server did not allow the State Department to comply with Federal law regarding the maintenance of government records – which of course was exactly the point and the whole reason she set up the private email in the first place.

The second and more serious issue, which is still under Federal investigation, is whether Clinton’s arrangement also violated Federal law with respect to the proper handling of classified material, and whether sensitive or classified information was disclosed to unauthorized persons thereby. Clinton has steadfastly denied that any such thing has occurred, but then she has also steadfastly maintained that her use of the server in the first place was in accordance with State Department rules – which we now know is categorically false, even according to the Obama State Department.