Well, I thought this would be a news-cycle, maybe two, and not much beyond that. But then Ms Clinton had her presser on the subject and lied her tuckus off. The photo above is of Secretary Clinton on a C-17 flying to Libya in 2011, using her iPhone to examine something sent to her. If this was from someone at State, I’ll guarantee you it was classified. Hold that thought.
She began her treatment on eMails by saying, “There are four things I want the public to know. First, when I got to work as Secretary of State, I opted for convenience to use my personal eMail account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal eMails instead of two.” As it turns out, she carried four – her iPhone, a Blackberry, an iPad and a Mini-iPad. So that leaves one wondering what the hell she’s talking about. Plus, it takes about 30 seconds to set up a second eMail account on a cell phone. This first thing she wanted us to know makes no sense.
“Second,” she said, “the vast majority of my work eMails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department.” Well, again, not true. Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for DoS, acknowledged that auto-backup only started last month. There was no such system at State during Ms Clinton’s tenure. She lied.
“Third,” she continued, “after I left office, the State Department asked former Secretaries of State for our assistance in providing copies of work-related eMails from our personal accounts. I responded right away and provided all my eMails that could possibly be work-related, which totaled ~55K printed pages, even though I knew that the State Department already had the vast majority of them.” Two things here. First is a repeat of the second lie (that State had archived her eMails to fellow State officials), and second, she supplied her version of official eMails by printing them onto 110 reams of printer paper instead of placing them onto a flash drive, where they would be a searchable, transferable record. This means that they must be gone through by hand, and entered by hand, drastically slowing down the process of searching for relevant documents. I would argue that, knowing the Clintons, this was the idea.
“We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related eMails and deliver them to the State Department.” It would be interesting to know just who “We” is. Turns out, it was her legal team, and they sorted the eMails by using key-word searches and deleting those which didn’t sift-out. Nobody read through them for content, just sorted by key-words (and we don’t know what key-words were used).
“At the end, I chose not to keep my private personal eMails … ” This violates the Federal Records Act’s non-destruction clause, which prohibits the employee from deleting anything that has not been vetted by DoS records security personnel. Here, she broke the law, minor infraction as it may be.
“Fourth, I took the unprecedented step of asking that the State Department make all my work-related eMails public for everyone to see.” Well, of course, eMails that have been scrubbed and vetted by her and her legal team could be released to the public. An “unprecedented step” without distinction.
During the questions from the press, Kahraman Haliscelik with Turkish Television asked, “[I]f you were a man today, would all this fuss being made be made?” To which she answered, “Well, I will – I will leave that to others to answer.” I might suggest ex-US Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration, who was fired after “The inspector general’s report specifically noted that Gration violated State Department policy by using a private, unsanctioned eMail service for official business.”
Later during the Q&A, a reporter was asking about the Secretary using a private server – one that she owned and operated – and asked if the State Department had “full access to it when you were secretary.” Ms Clinton simply ignored that part of her question and answered the second part, but the short answer is “No.” They had to ask her to send them in when they discovered they had no eMail traffic from Ms Clinton at all.
And still later, a reporter wanted to know, “Why did you wait two years? Why – why did you wait two years to turn those eMails over? The rules say you have to turn them over … ” To which Ms Clinton answered, “I don’t think – I’d be happy to have somebody talk to you about the rules. I fully complied with every rule that I was governed by.” Not true. Ms Clinton herself issued a department-wide edict that all personnel were to use .state.gov eMail (and fired an ambassador for not doing so), so there’s a rule she did not abide by. Also, her own records management handbook for DoS, which sets out a very specific process about how you remove records from the department’s control. Those rules require an exiting employee to “prepare an inventory of personal papers and non-record materials that you are proposing for removal” and then “request a review of those materials that you’ve proposed for removal.” She simply deleted “non-official” eMails from her server. Another rule she violated. Additionally, form OF-109 (part of the separation package upon leaving office) asks if you have turned over all materials and documents before leaving – if she checked “Yes,” she lied (a felony), and if she checked “No,” she would have been instructed to do so before leaving, so there’s a law she did not abide by. The Government Oversight Committee should subpoena her OF-109.
In answer to another question, Ms Clinton offered, “I did not eMail any classified material to anyone on my eMail. There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.” I have a problem with the “There is no classified material” part of her answer. Remember the photo at the top? She was on her way to Libya, reading her iPhone. If that was an eMail from someone at State, I’ll guarantee you it was classified. Also, her calendar, her itineraries and her daily agendas are all classified, and I guarantee she kept those on her server.
Additionally, Justin Cooper, a longtime aide to former President Bill Clinton, registered the clintonemail.com domain on January 13, a little more than a week before Hillary Clinton took office as secretary of state on January 21. The first SSL certificate was issued for clintonemail.com on March 29th, according to Venafi, a security company that analyzes encryption keys and digital certificates. The SSL certificate is necessary to encrypt connections from smartphones and computers. Without that security, data would be flowing across the internet in plain text. During her first months in office until the certificate was obtained, Ms Clinton traveled to Japan, Indonesia, ROK, PRC, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey and Mexico .
In a rare example of making things worse by “explaining” them, Hillary Clinton managed to take the situation from about to be forgotten to a major concern for Democrats, who have placed all their 2016 eggs in the Clinton basket. Her performance raised so many more questions than it answered, and provided Trey Gowdy’s committee with a couple of new subpoenas to be sought.
I’m now not so sure this is just another Clinton-esque misadventure … this one could have legs.
 Meghan Keneally, Liz Kreutz and Shushannah Walshe, Hillary Clinton Emails: A Timeline of What Rules Were Allegedly Ignored, ABC News, March 6 2015, 1355EST.
 Martyn Williams, Hillary Clinton’s eMail system was insecure for two months, in ComputerWorld, March 11 2015, 1606PDT.