Who do you think is more likely to cry when Hillary is finally arrested, her or Bill?
The FBI may be able to recover at least some data from Hillary Clinton’s private email server even though there was an attempt to wipe it, two sources with direct knowledge of the process told NBC News on Tuesday…
The FBI “will try to figure what’s there, how it got there and who put it there,” one of the sources said.
A team of intelligence community reviewers also looking at emails from the server have identified 305 documents that have been referred to their agencies for further consultation, State Department lawyers said in a court filing Tuesday intended to update a federal judge on efforts to release the emails.
It’s not just the e-mails they’re looking at potentially. Now that they have the server, they should be able to tell how many different users were accessing it, including unauthorized users. Which is to say, even if it can’t be proved that Hillary herself knowingly transmitted classified information in an insecure manner — not the criminal standard of culpability but the moral standard she’ll claim in doing damage control — the feds might be able to tell if foreign spies were reading her e-mail. It’ll be fun watching her on the trail trying to sell herself as the experienced adult in the room on national security when the papers are full of stories about the Chinese or Russians reading Top Secret documents right over her shoulder. At a minimum, the feds should be able to glean just how thorough her security protocols were. Did she do everything in her power to impede outside access into the system? The early bets on that are … not in her favor.
Another key question: When, precisely, was the server wiped? PolitiFact addressed that question last month and the closest it came to an answer was sometime in the fall of 2014, after the State Department had asked her for her work-related correspondence and she sent them a batch of e-mails in reply. Is that true, or did she actually wipe it much later, perhaps after Trey Gowdy subpoenaed her in March demanding that she produce all correspondence related to the Benghazi attack? If the answer is “after” then we have obstruction of justice in the form of destroying records to avoid compliance with a lawful demand. In fact, even if the answer is “before,” you could argue that we have obstruction of justice anyway. Law prof Ronald Rotunda made a compelling case back in March that if Hillary had reason to believe her e-mails might be subpoenaed eventually, then destroying them would make her guilty of anticipatory obstruction of justice. You shouldn’t be allowed to evade punishment, after all, just because you’re quick off the block in erasing damaging material while the authorities are still drawing up subpoenas and search warrants. If it turns out the server was wiped much later than we thought, when she clearly had reason to believe congressional investigators and even the FBI might have interest in it, she might be cooked.
Exit question: Why didn’t she have the server physically destroyed after she left the State Department so that nothing would be recoverable? For that matter, why didn’t she purge her archives and replace the server periodically, precisely so that she could claim it was a normal business practice if/when the feds came calling? The weirdest thing about this scandal is how haphazard Hillary’s behavior was throughout. She took a huge risk to begin with by putting her correspondence on an insecure private server, knowing that spies would be eager to infiltrate it, but instead of shelling out big bucks for the best security money could buy, she ran the operation out of her basement and then turned the old server over to a small mom-and-pop shop in the midwest. I would have thought the Clintons would hire their own white-hat hackers to defend their system from invasive attacks 24/7 and then run the latest server through an industrial shredder every year or so to make sure any data is good and gone. I don’t get it.
Update: “What, with a cloth?”