A few days ago I brought up the request by the State Department which asked for an additional month to release the last batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails. At least one of the reasons they gave – the impact of this weekend’s blizzard – seemed rather laughable. The reporter who originally filed the request for the documents clearly feels the same way and he’s pushing to just get all the documents out now rather than later. (The Blaze)
The journalist whose lawsuit forced the release of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails filed a motion Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that the State Department’s requested delay on its last release of more Clinton emails will mean that the U.S. voting public will be “irreversibly harmed.”
Lawyers for Jason Leopold, a Vice News reporter, said in the motion that State’s latest delay — which the agency blamed on Winter Storm Jonas — would push the final email release to Feb. 29.
That would be after Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina had all voted in their respective caucuses and primaries.
Leon Wolf at RedState seems to agree.
Look, Winter Storm Jonas has been a major bummer for all the poor people in DC that we all feel very sorry for, but some snowfall does not mean that it’s going to take an extra month for Hillary’s servers to spit out some emails.
Clinton still holds a national lead over Bernie Sanders, but if she loses Iowa, then it will cause a domino effect that will almost certainly mean that she will lose New Hampshire as well. If she loses both IA and NH, and her lead in South Carolina is dwindling, well.. no telling what might happen. The bottom line is that Hillary Clinton dares not lose Iowa this time around.
I can sympathize with what Leon is saying and it’s not as if there’s no truth to it. The Iowa and New Hampshire vote results could, at least in theory, provide a major shift in the polls for the next states down the line. (Though I’ve argued here in the past that this effect is considerably more muted than it was in the decades before 24 hour cable news networks and the rise of social media.) So I’m not arguing against releasing everything by the end of the month, but I still can’t help but think that it might not be all that critical and might, in fact, prove to be something of a silver lining.
The first thing to consider is the State Department’s assertion that they needed sign off from other agencies before some of them can be released in order to comply with the law. If they can show that to be true, arguments to the contrary are likely to fail and may just appear petulant. But even if that weren’t the case, let’s not forget that we’ve had several major stories about the classified nature of the emails breaking just in the last few days and they will be fresh on the voters’ minds. Waiting until the end of February might actually work against Hillary rather than helping her. I’ll commit the sin of quoting myself and go back to what I said over the weekend.
My initial reaction was to be suspicious as usual and find it awfully convenient for Hillary Clinton that some potentially bombshell material won’t come to light until after Iowa and New Hampshire have voted, but it may prove to be just the opposite. There will still be large data dump right before the Iowa caucus, doubtless producing more hits on the front page just as voters get ready to lock in their decisions. But Hillary’s already been tanking in Iowa and New Hampsire, so this might be overkill anyway. Her campaign has been relying for some time now on the idea that she could weather the storm for a couple of weeks and then make a big comeback as the primary swings south into areas where Bernie Sanders hasn’t spent much time or money. Now the “highly complex” emails will drop right on the eve of Super Tuesday and that’s the news that will hang over her efforts in eleven states like a dark cloud.
The passage of a few days isn’t really making me view this any differently. Hillary is in trouble in Iowa and New Hampshire and she knows it. In fact, Clinton HQ is more aware of the need for a southern firewall than ever and they’ve shifted their focus there in the past few days. If Sanders can close the gap there as soon as they are finished in New Hampshire I will seriously begin to believe that Clinton’s eventual nomination is in danger. Following South Carolina and Nevada we get into the deep south sweep. And if there are a bunch of “complex” emails involving other agencies waiting to be revealed, would you rather have them out in the public view now or just when the southern swing is getting underway?
If State manages to obtain a delay on the release of the final batch, it still may not wind up being the worst thing in the world. In fact, it could turn out to be a big blow to the Clinton campaign at just the right time.