Yes. She herself has admitted that it was a mistake. A recent report by the state department inspector general found that she broke multiple rules despite repeated warnings to use official communications methods that would ensure her emails were stored and kept safe from hackers.
Did she break the law?
As an FBI investigation continues, expert opinion is divided. Some offer a view reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s famous remark that he experimented with marijuana but “didn’t inhale”. “I believe Clinton did break the law but at the same time I don’t think there’s evidence she committed a crime,” says Douglas Cox, associate professor at City University of New York School of Law.
It is a violation of federal records law to remove or destroy material, Cox notes, although Clinton “in part” fixed this by returning thousands of emails. More important in assessing whether a crime was committed is the question of intent, Cox says. “While there were warnings and memos that she should have been aware of, from a prosecution side they would need to prove her knowledge and intent and have evidence of that to bring before a jury.”
Cox believes such evidence is lacking. In this sense the case is different from those of retired general David Petraeus, former director of the CIA, and Sandy Berger, ex-national security adviser, both of whom handled information they knew was classified and were wilfully deceitful.