Hillary Clinton said that a news report of a potential criminal probed into her private email account contains "a lot of inaccuracies."
"Maybe the heat is getting to everybody," she said before remarks on the economy in New York City. "We all have a responsibility to get this right."
Her comments come after the New York Times reported that the Justice Department has received a "criminal referral" from inspectors general for the State Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to open an investigation into whether government information was mishandled while the former Secretary of State used a personal email address.
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"We are all accountable to the American people to get the facts right and I will do my part, but I'm also going to stay focused on the issues, particularly, the big issues that really matter to American families," Clinton said.
The inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community recently alerted the Justice Department to the potential compromise of classified information arising from Clinton's server. The IG also sent a memo to members of Congress that he had identified "potentially hundreds of classified emails" among the 30,000 that Clinton had provided to the State Department — a concern the office said it raised with FBI counterintelligence officials.
Though the referral to the Justice Department does not seek a criminal probe and does not specifically targetClinton, the latest steps by government investigators will further fuel the partisan furor surrounding the 55,000 pages of emails already under review by the State Department.
A statement from the intelligence inspector general, I. Charles McCullough, and his counterpart at the State Department, Steve Linick, said that McCullough's office found four emails containing classified information in a limited sample of 40 emails.
"This classified information should have never been transmitted via an unclassified personal system," they said.
For Clinton, the news amounted to a major distraction on a day when she'd hoped to focus on unveiling a new set of economic policies. Instead, she opened her New York City speech by addressing the controversy, decrying some reports as inaccurate.
Some media initially reported that Justice Department had been asked to consider a criminal investigation into whether she mishandled her emails.