In February 2015, Americans found themselves shocked that a Secretary of State would use a private, unsecured, home-brew server for official communications. As it turns out, Hillary Clinton’s own closest allies shared the same reaction. John covered some of this a couple of days ago, but Fox News notes just how much in the dark Clinton aides were kept, but also that they apparently lied to them when directly asked about it. Newly leaked e-mails from John Podesta show the shock and anger among the very people who shortly afterward would go into damage-control mode and try to convince voters that this was nothing more than an error.
Even months after that, Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden called it “f***** insane” in a July 2015 e-mail. The comment came in a thread regarding an unrelated CNN poll, but around the same time that the FBI announced that they would investigate the use of Hillary’s e-mail system and classified information transmitted and retained by it:
One close ally, Center for American Progress leader Neera Tanden, was still fuming months later, pressing now-Campaign Chairman John Podesta on who gave Clinton permission to use the system.
“Do we actually know who told Hillary she could use a private email? And has that person been drawn and quartered?” Tanden wrote in July. “Like whole thing is f—ing insane.”
That was hardly the only complaint about the scandal. Podesta, by this time (March 3, 2015) running Team Hillary, and campaign manager Robby Mook both expressed amazement on having been blindsided by the New York Times exposé. Mook, however, admits that they tested the issue with voters the previous summer — about the time that the Clintons and State Department would have found out that Trey Gowdy’s select committee on Benghazi had figured it out:
On March 2, Podesta wrote to current Campaign Manager Robby Mook asking if Mook had “any idea of the depth of this story?”
“Nope. We brought up the existence of emails in research this summer but were told that everything was taken care of,” Mook wrote back at 1:32 a.m. on March 3.
Podesta also wrote to Tanden airing his concerns on March 2, the day the story about Clinton’s private email account broke.
“Speaking of transparency, our friends [attorney David] Kendall, Cheryl and Phillipe [Reines] sure weren’t forthcoming on the facts here,” Podesta wrote.
Tanden called the scandal a “Cheryl [Mills] special,” and wondered why the Clintons didn’t air all of this out themselves after leaving the State Department. She then answered her own question. “I guess I know the answer,” she wrote to Podesta, “they wanted to get away with it.”
For the most part, though, they did. The FBI mysteriously discovered a need to find intent in a statute (18 USC 793f) that specifically does not require it, and the Department of Justice happily concurred. The same people who called Hillary’s e-mail “f****** insane) and had no idea how deep the rabbit hole actually was spent the last 19 months insisting that there was no rabbit hole at all. They continue to insist that Hillary Clinton has been the most transparent Secretary of State in the history of Secretaries, in the history of States, and in the history of “ofs” even after ripping their fellow Clintonistas for hiding the scandal until it exploded in their faces. That worked, too, at least with the media and voters, who picked up on their transparency arguments and in many cases downplayed the significance of the classified-information spillage — and hardly mentioned the corruption of important checks and balances on executive-branch agencies.
If nothing else, this serves as a reminder that this was a big dea, it was “f****** insane,” and that no one at all got “drawn and quartered” or even reprimanded for it.