Her core reason yesterday for deleting personal e-mails and refusing to turn over her server is that there are/were private communications on there, including between her and Bill, and no one has a right to see those. Now here’s Bill himself saying nope. Say what you will about Frank and Claire Underwood, at least he’d never leave her twisting in the wind in the middle of a scandal.
But wait. These are the Clintons. Every syllable must be parsed and re-parsed for hedging. Typically they don’t proceed to an outright lie until they’ve been cornered on their lawyerly non-answers. What exactly did Hillary say yesterday?
“The server contains personal communications from my husband and me,” she said. “The system we used was set up for President Clinton’s office,” she added. “So, I think that the use of that server, which started with my husband, certainly proved to be effective and secure.”…
But some took “from my husband and me” to mean messages between the former president and first lady…
Asked whether Bill Clinton e-mailed with his wife at her e-mail address, McKenna told Bloomberg he did not.
Perhaps Hillary Clinton meant messages on behalf of both of them.
Aha! So she didn’t explicitly say they e-mailed each other, only that messages were sent from the two of them. (E.g., “Best regards, Bill and Hillary”?) Or maybe Bill never e-mailed Hillary but Bill’s secretary did, after he told her what the message should say, which in ClintonWorld doesn’t really count as him e-mailing her just as sex acts that don’t involve coitus don’t really count as “sex.” Gotta be one or the other: I can’t imagine why Bill would hang Hillary out to dry by seeming to contradict her when she’s already getting nuked in the media for her ridiculous spin yesterday.
The e-mail contradiction isn’t the only case where Hillary might have chosen her words carefully. Sean Davis spots Clintonian evasiveness afoot in how she responded when asked about e-mailing with Obama and the security of her server. Here’s what she said:
CLINTON: 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.
You could take that at face value if it were most anyone else, but for Hillary, says Davis, we need to scrutinize verb tenses. There “is” no classified material on her server, great. But was there? Much depends here on what the meaning of the word “is” is. Nor does she say anything about “sensitive” information, one rung down from classified info on the secrecy ladder. And note, he continues, how she says — twice — that she never sent classified information but says nothing about having received any. That’s probably no accident: Per Morgen Richmond, State’s ops center beams out classified alerts to key personnel 24/7.
— Morgen Richmond (@morgenr) March 11, 2015
Diplomatic experts, when interviewed by the NYT, essentially laughed at the idea that she wouldn’t have been receiving classified information via e-mail. “I would assume that more than 50 percent of what the secretary of state dealt with was classified,” said one former senior State official. At worst, she lied outright yesterday; at best, she told the truth in a way so evasive and misleading that you’d need a lawyer with Davis’s eye for detail to interpret her answers for you. Either way, given how pitiful the security of her server was/is, it’s a cinch that foreign spies were accessing State’s confidential communiques through Clinton’s set-up. This person is the prohibitive frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.
The only way we’re going to get answers is to put her server in the hands of independent analysts. Can the deleted e-mails be retrieved? Can the saved e-mails that weren’t turned over to State all be rightly categorized as personal and therefore not subject to disclosure? Trey Gowdy told MSNBC this morning that his committee has no power to subpoena personal property like the server; the whole House might have that power — a court would need to decide — but Boehner’s not going to go down that rabbit hole given how the last confrontation between House Republicans and a Clinton shook out. To access that server, either Hillary’s going to have to be charged with something or, in the name of good government, transparency, and turning over a new leaf, she’s going to have to voluntarily turn it over. Which is a long way of saying she’s going to have to be charged with something.