Mitchell: Experts can find no reason for a private e-mail system except to thwart oversight

posted at 2:01 pm on July 27, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

The media seems ready to turn on the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal, if one uses MSNBC as a gauge. It’s not a surprise to see Joe Scarborough, a center-right host, focusing intently and in detail on the wide range of issues and potential crimes that Hillary and her team may have committed. However, his sparring partner Mika Brzezinski also seems horrified by the IG referral to the DoJ and FBI, along with the report that four out of a sample of 40 e-mails sent by Hillary and reviewed by the intelligence community contained material that was classified when it was sent and remains classified to this day. And following the discussion during the earlier segment of Morning Joe, NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell followed it up with a surprising — but common-sensical — assessment of the scandal in a nutshell, although not without providing a rationalization or two along the way (emphasis mine, via The Blaze and Mediaite):

MITCHELL: Look, you have two inspectors general, and they are referring this to the Justice Department. Now, you can try to confuse and there’s been a lot of misdirection, there’s been inaccurate reporting. …

What they are suggesting is that there were classified — four out of the forty randomly selected [emails] had classified information, and it was not information that was later upgraded to be classified. It was information that was classified as, quote, secret, which is its level of classification at the time.

This gets very confusing, and it can be confused further by statements on all sides. That said, the original sin, if you will, is having a private e-mail system.

BRZEZINSKI: [crosstalk] It’s unfixable. It’s unfixable.

MITCHELL: I was at a security conference speaking to intelligence officials on all sides, and to the Attorney General, and we’ll talk about that later. But nobody can give an explanation for why a Cabinet Secretary would have a private e-mail system, other than to thwart inquiries, FOIAs, and someone who had spent 20 years fighting off many investigations, many of which were unwarranted and many of which led nowhere, and so you understand the defensive approach that a lot of Clinton people were in. But it still doesn’t explain why going from the Senate into a Cabinet level position there was a private e-mail system.

That’s the critical problem for media outlets that want to dismiss this or rationalize it as just another attack on the Clintons. There is no explanation for the home-brew e-mail system, and the only way one can ignore the obvious motivations for it — to cover up what was being done — is to pretend that a sitting Secretary of State can work for four years without ever sending or receiving classified data through an e-mail system. That was absurd on its face from the beginning, but most of the media seemed inclined to treat it as “no harm, no foul” simply on Hillary Clinton’s claim alone.

Now, however, the IG referral makes that impossible. It may not be a “criminal referral” at the moment, but the FBI doesn’t investigate referrals to assess civil penalties, and IGs don’t send referrals to the FBI unless they see evidence that a crime may have been committed. The pretense of nothing but pleasantries and scheduling routing through the “clintonemail” server has been shattered, and now the media has to scramble to cover it more seriously.

National Journal’s Ron Fournier, who has been asking tough questions for months about the scandal, agrees that the private server is the “original sin,” echoing Mitchell. But it’s obvious that it was intended to keep people from finding out about other sins, and Fournier wants to know what those were:

Clinton regrets being too transparent in the same way a bank robber might second-guess his confession.

“This is all about my desire to have transparency and to make the information public.” If your eyes aren’t rolling, you’re not paying attention.

Clinton has put herself in a box. She can either hand the server over to an independent third party, who would protect her private email and our government’s working email. Or she can stonewall.

The latter course gives every voter the right – and every self-respecting journalist the responsibility – to ask, “What were you hiding, Hillary?”

What are you hiding?

Maybe the rest of the media will finally come out of hiding, too.


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Comments

The one who sleeps with a cadaver spake the truth?

Schadenfreude on July 27, 2015 at 2:04 PM

America, do you want the crooked Clintons hectoring you for 8 years?

Schadenfreude on July 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM

She was broke and didn’t anyone to know all the side business she had with thugs around the world. Cracked head!

d1carter on July 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM

Andrea will still enable the carrion-Hillary. She knows something about living with the dead.

Schadenfreude on July 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM

I have a very pertinent question and I haven’t been able to get a straight answer.

Is Andrea Mitchell the least attractive woman in cable news?

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM

If I was a suspicious person, I would think someone has put out the word…

d1carter on July 27, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Well thanks Andrea, because I would have never guessed this months ago without being told by experts.

NotCoach on July 27, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Joe Biden….BFD.?

d1carter on July 27, 2015 at 2:07 PM

Who will be brave enough to bring charges against her?

otlset on July 27, 2015 at 2:07 PM

Is Andrea Mitchell the least attractive woman in cable news?

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM

Chris Hayes, sister to Mr. Rachel Maddow.

NotCoach on July 27, 2015 at 2:08 PM

Let’s give the keys to Grandma. She hasn’t driven since last century. Pile in, kids!

Christien on July 27, 2015 at 2:08 PM

It’s always fun to see how long it takes the paid professionals to admit the obvious.

Christien on July 27, 2015 at 2:11 PM

Imagine the position the DOJ is in.

The Clinton theme song

Schadenfreude on July 27, 2015 at 2:11 PM

You just have ask yourself, what would all those on the left say and do if Condi Rice had been caught doing this? Everybody knows that Condi would be lucky if she got off with less than a year in jail for doing exactly what Hillary already admits to.

RBMN on July 27, 2015 at 2:13 PM

Mitchell: Experts can find no reason for a private e-mail system except to thwart oversight

…if BarnButt has lost ^ that ugly [email protected] skeleton!…just stick a fork in herself…and let her offer herself up as a pig-roast… to the farmers in Iowa!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 27, 2015 at 2:14 PM

From the front page pic, I’d assumed this was an AP Talking Dead grumble thread.

Marcola on July 27, 2015 at 2:14 PM

This contest is not even fair.
Is there any candidate she is not leading by double digits?
weedisgood on April 7, 2015 at 10:42 AM

The important story here is Slick Willy’s numbers. Hillary is the next president.
weedisgood on June 3, 2015 at 2:52 PM

2016 is over before it began.
She will win
weedisgood on April 12, 2015 at 3:57 PM

America hates losers
weedisgood on August 26, 2014 at 9:32 PM

2016 is done and dusted.
Crown the woman already.
weedisgood on April 6, 2015 at 5:34 PM

Schadenfreude on July 27, 2015 at 2:15 PM

The damn is starting to break.

WisRich on July 27, 2015 at 2:15 PM

I still don’t get it.

Why is it taking so long for a search warrant to be submitted and authorized by a judge?

Is no one asking for a search warrant? Plenty of PC here.

Baggi on July 27, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Of some interest would be who sent and received the most e-mails to and from William Ayers,, ,,,,

Ms Clinton, Mr Clinton or Obama?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on July 27, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Who cares if she turns over the server? The data in question has been shredded to the atomic level.

She learned her lesson by not destroying the Rose Law firm records.

pedestrian on July 27, 2015 at 2:17 PM

Boy, Andrea Mitchell sure reminds me of someone….hmmm, now who is it?

cynccook on July 27, 2015 at 2:17 PM

From the front page pic, I’d assumed this was an AP Talking Dead grumble thread.

Marcola on July 27, 2015 at 2:14 PM

Do they use makeup for the on-air talent at CNN, do they look at her and just give up?

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:17 PM

Once again, it all boils down to email.

Take it from an I.T. guy…

In the electronic age, don’t be a shady politician who uses email.

Turtle317 on July 27, 2015 at 2:18 PM

Is no one asking for a search warrant?

Baggi on July 27, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Nail, head, etc.

Search warrants only happen when there is a criminal investigation, and there is no criminal investigation. Congress can subpoena the server, but we all know Clinton will ignore the subpoena. Congress could then find Clinton in contempt of Congress, but we all know that the DoJ will decline to charge her with contempt.

NotCoach on July 27, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Mitchell: Experts can find no reason for a private e-mail system except to thwart oversight

Really? That’s wasn’t absolutely obvious to any person with brain on day one?

TheMadHessian on July 27, 2015 at 2:19 PM

There was a time when the media would have considered themselves to be sufficiently expert to understand that a government employee using a private email server for business is up to no good.

Everyone who sent an email to, or received an email from @clintonmail.com knew that she was doing something wrong. If boggles my mind that someone didn’t call her on it right from the get-go, although “see something/say something” isn’t a career-enhancing principle in many Washington bureaucracies.

Immolate on July 27, 2015 at 2:20 PM

Turtle317 on July 27, 2015 at 2:18 PM

Is that you, Mitch?

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:21 PM

It’s either BFD Biden or Fauxchahantas….

d1carter on July 27, 2015 at 2:21 PM

Do they use makeup for the on-air talent at CNN, do they look at her and just give up?

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:17 PM

When that happens to me, I uses a power sander to remove the roughness and then smooth on the spackle with an 18″ trowel, then of course sand again.

pedestrian on July 27, 2015 at 2:21 PM

When that happens to me, I uses a power sander to remove the roughness and then smooth on the spackle with an 18″ trowel, then of course sand again.

pedestrian on July 27, 2015 at 2:21 PM

You’ve probably never faced a job that tough, though.

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:23 PM

Ooops bad link. Let me try that again.

cynccook on July 27, 2015 at 2:24 PM

This is what happens when the fallback position of the MSM is that all Dems are innocent until proven guilty and all Reps are guilty until proven innocent.

antipc on July 27, 2015 at 2:24 PM

I still remember the release of Sarah Palin’s voluminous emails, presided over by a host of reporters who traveled up to Alaska for that reason only, who found that rather than being a self-obsessed, narcissistic, stupid snowbilly, per indications of the emails was intelligent, sensible and hardworking for the citizens of Alaska. And did that change their view of Sarah, or of their reporting of her? No, not a whit. They just bided their time until she committed some other horror, which turned out to be a less than stellar speech (out of a thousand over the years) in Iowa earlier this year. “Put a fork in her — the snowbilly is all washed up!”

/I mean, didn’t you read or watch “Game Change”? It’s all in there!

LashRambo on July 27, 2015 at 2:26 PM

I have a very pertinent question and I haven’t been able to get a straight answer.

Is Andrea Mitchell the least attractive woman in cable news?

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM

..ever since Helen Thomas mercifly began her dirt nap back in 2013.

The War Planner on July 27, 2015 at 2:26 PM

Wellllllllllll duh

29Victor on July 27, 2015 at 2:27 PM

If the felonious behavior results in bad poll numbers, then the only crime Democrats recognize (and punish) is the bad poll numbers.

RBMN on July 27, 2015 at 2:28 PM

You know, it’s totally cruel and heartless to publicly mock a woman for her looks. . . except in her case, of course.

Emperor Norton on July 27, 2015 at 2:29 PM

.ever since Helen Thomas mercifly began her dirt nap back in 2013.

The War Planner on July 27, 2015 at 2:26 PM

She was like 150 yrs old, though, and her job wasn’t to be on camera.

A lot of useless people on the air on CNN, if I was in charge Andrea Mitchell and Wolf Blitzer would be out the door.

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:29 PM

Or is she on MSNBC?

Who cares, really, MSNBC is even worse.

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:30 PM

It’s not her looks that keep her on TV. It’s her fellatio, obviously.

ConstantineXI on July 27, 2015 at 2:31 PM

The referral was HRC’s (and WJC’s) warning from Obama’s Rasputin to remain silent – and remain loyal / protective / supportive towards Obama. It’s the message to look at Robert Menendez and see what’s happening to him over his opposition of the Administration’s collaboration with Iran. It’s why Schmuckie remains silent – as he’s also a target of these messages.

Athos on July 27, 2015 at 2:31 PM

BTW – the NY Times was reporting that the primary reason HRC used a private server was to avoid accountability / reporting requirements back in March…

Using Private Email, Hillary Clinton Thwarted Record Requests

In 2012, congressional investigators asked the State Department for a wide range of documents related to the attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The department eventually responded, furnishing House committees with thousands of documents.

But it turns out that that was not everything.

The State Department had not searched the email account of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton because she had maintained a private account, which shielded it from such searches, department officials acknowledged on Tuesday.

The media doesn’t want to know – it’s being dragged kicking and screaming, for the most part, onto this story. They just can’t wait to let us know once again…

…Nothing to see here, move along…

Athos on July 27, 2015 at 2:36 PM

Of course.

I still don’t get it.

Why is it taking so long for a search warrant to be submitted and authorized by a judge?

Is no one asking for a search warrant? Plenty of PC here.

Baggi on July 27, 2015 at 2:16 PM

this

CWforFreedom on July 27, 2015 at 2:36 PM

Hillary and Bill are going to start sending clues to the cops, a la the Beltway Snipers, because even they can’t believe it’s taking so long to get caught.

Christien on July 27, 2015 at 2:40 PM

Ooops bad link. Let me try that again.

cynccook on July 27, 2015 at 2:24 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqkY2nCf2xU

Try this: Your Pic

makattak on July 27, 2015 at 2:45 PM

The Chinese have a copy.

PaleoRider on July 27, 2015 at 2:48 PM

BRZEZINSKI: But we’re still voting for her aren’t we?

MITCHELL: Oh, totally.

antipc on July 27, 2015 at 2:51 PM

Schadenfreude on July 27, 2015 at 2:15 PM

Thanks chief. :)

itsspideyman on July 27, 2015 at 2:52 PM

Really, who needs an expert for that conclusion. Any reasonably thinking person already knows that!!!!

rjoco1 on July 27, 2015 at 2:53 PM

When is Hillary going to do a cameo in “Orange is the New Black?” She may as well get used to the color, because she’s going to be wearing it soon at this rate.

If the FBI does investigate this, she’s done. The FBI rarely starts an investigation, especially into a major public figure, unless it thinks it can get a conviction. If the FBI does go through with this, she’s done. And we have not even talked about what happened at the Clinton Foundation.

If I were Hillary right now, I’d be asking Obama how much he would want for a presidential pardon. She and Bill are worth at least $200 million, so they have lots of room to negotiate.

Libertyship46 on July 27, 2015 at 2:55 PM

She and Bill are worth at least $200 million, so they have lots of room to negotiate.

Libertyship46 on July 27, 2015 at 2:55 PM

Ever see Hillary around a dollar bill? Just think Mooch and lobster.

antipc on July 27, 2015 at 2:58 PM

OMG, Andrea has been exposed to “reality”…..
RUN…..RUN…..

Another Drew on July 27, 2015 at 3:06 PM

This sudden tide that has turned within the MSM has ulterior motives.

Multiple NBC personalities don’t do this without Media Matters input.

Media Matters doesn’t stoke this without approval at the highest levels.

Any of:
1. Convincingly sell the “she is innocent meme” when she is found innocent;
2. Obama holds her “hostage” during her POTUS years to do his bidding because “this could have gone either way”, but he found her to be innocent;
3. Clinton is about to be cast aside for a new “chosen one”.

Carnac on July 27, 2015 at 3:09 PM

Duh.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 27, 2015 at 3:16 PM

They feel safe telling the truth about Hiss Hill because:

1. No ones listening in the middle of summer and when people start paying attention they can say “this is old news, we already vetted that”

or

2. Watching the Republican Senate has shown them that a Republican president will be no danger to their agenda.

kcewa on July 27, 2015 at 3:22 PM

I still don’t get it.

Why is it taking so long for a search warrant to be submitted and authorized by a judge?

Is no one asking for a search warrant? Plenty of PC here.

Baggi on July 27, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Timing…it’s all timing…dragging this out is making Hillary look foolish.

She is going to testify before congress, supposedly, in October. What they want is her on record stating her “facts”.

right2bright on July 27, 2015 at 3:25 PM

4 out of 40 is horrible! Ten percent, when there are another 33,000 email out there? And what of the emails that were destroyed?

Progressive Heretic on July 27, 2015 at 3:28 PM

Hillary had it easy, she could have refused to become Secretary of State because she didn’t want to abide by the e-mail rules. Or, she could have done what she did and not run for President of the United States. I don’t believe she can do both.

bflat879 on July 27, 2015 at 3:32 PM

4 out of 40 is horrible! Ten percent, when there are another 33,000 email out there? And what of the emails that were destroyed?

Progressive Heretic on July 27, 2015 at 3:28 PM

And that’s just based on what the IG was allowed to see. Using Clinton cocktail napkin math, assume it’s really 90% (if you’re cynical) or just split the 90% in half, and add it to the 10%, making around 55% (or most).

Christien on July 27, 2015 at 3:45 PM

Drag a hundred-dollar bill through an office park, you never know what you’ll find.

Christien on July 27, 2015 at 3:48 PM

Andrea Mitchell looks like Kermit the Frog.

At least in that picture, she does.

Better than the Hillbag, but that’s not a high bar to exceed.

Aizen on July 27, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Maybe Hillary was a spy…hiding her secrets from the US government…

albill on July 27, 2015 at 4:20 PM

But nobody can give an explanation for why a Cabinet Secretary would have a private e-mail system, other than to thwart inquiries, FOIAs…

Blinding flash of the obvious followed by…

and someone who had spent 20 years fighting off many investigations, many of which were unwarranted and many of which led nowhere, and so you understand the defensive approach that a lot of Clinton people were in.

…obligatory MSM groveling excuse for H>illary!™’s behavior.

F X Muldoon on July 27, 2015 at 4:21 PM

If im not mistaken, isnt andrea mitchell married to alan greenspan??? Whos not exactly tom selleck himself. :-D

Indiana Jim on July 27, 2015 at 4:23 PM

Coffin, meet Another nail…..

Indiana Jim on July 27, 2015 at 4:25 PM

She definitely has a face made for radio….

Indiana Jim on July 27, 2015 at 4:27 PM

Do they use makeup for the on-air talent at CNN, do they look at her and just give up?

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:17 PM

A lot of night games.
signed:Makeup Dept

docflash on July 27, 2015 at 4:39 PM

Redstone. They use special make up for her= cement and a trowel….

Indiana Jim on July 27, 2015 at 4:48 PM

@redstone: she is not the least attractive woman on cable news, that’s Rachel Maddow, who has to have hardened plate glass mirrors in her dresing room.

virgo on July 27, 2015 at 4:56 PM

Wow. When you’ve lost Skeletor‘s support, you know you’re in liberal purgatory…

orangemtl on July 27, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Virgo. You were close. Rachel maddow is the ugliest MAN on network TV. :-D

Indiana Jim on July 27, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Joe Scarborough, a center-right host

I don’t know much about Scarborough’s time in Congress, but from what I’ve seen of him on his show, he seems to be more of a Center Left guy to me. I don’t care if he calls himself a Republican or not, he’s certainly not very conservative. I guess when far lefties have taken over the Democratic party it must skew the scale so now any old school moderate Democrats (ie. Lieberman) are considered right wingers which makes liberal Republicans center righties…..

Zooid on July 27, 2015 at 5:02 PM

@redstone: she is not the least attractive woman on cable news, that’s Rachel Maddow, who has to have hardened plate glass mirrors in her dresing room.

virgo on July 27, 2015 at 4:56 PM

It’s a close call, Rachel Madcow gives her a run for her money.

But Maddow is basically like a guy, I don’t think she’s trying to look good at all in a feminine way.

Andrea Mitchell I just don’t get why she’s on tv all the time, what insight does she possess?

Seems to me like a run of the mill liberal hack.

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 5:32 PM

This will ultimately mean nothing.

Hillary must be elected, because failing to elect her will prove America is a sexist nation.

Yeah, she may be the most corrupt President ever, but at least America will have proven it’s not sexist.

And symbolism is of utmost importance to the prople of the USA today.

Morality is not important.

Jobs are not important.

Security is not important.

Children are not important.

Decency is not important.

Freedom is not important.

Except when any or all of these can be used as symbolic political props or platitudes in lofty-sounding speeches.

Because feeling good about the symbolic goodness of ourselves is what Americans truly value.

When this country finally goes down the toilet, there will no doubt be a majority who have a favorable opinion of ‘the swirl’.

s1im on July 27, 2015 at 6:05 PM

I have a very pertinent question and I haven’t been able to get a straight answer.

Is Andrea Mitchell the least attractive woman in cable news?

Redstone on July 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM

Rachel Maddow

talkingpoints on July 27, 2015 at 6:34 PM

How about plausible deniability?

HRC could let donors read “secret” information, and claim she didn’t know anything about email security.

ha_tspc on July 27, 2015 at 7:39 PM