A bad look? Sure. The “height of hypocrisy”? No. But this is a good talking point for her, as the average American probably couldn’t explain concisely just why Hillary’s email use as Secretary of State was problematic. Voters spent the last year listening to Republicans yell “she used private email!” Today they open the Times to find that no fewer than six Trump advisors — all big names — have also used private email for official business. Game, set, match. The GOP’s just as bad as Clinton.
The Times itself explains why the two situations aren’t equivalent — if you read far enough into the article.
The disclosures came a day after news surfaced that Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, used a private email account to send or receive about 100 work-related emails during the administration’s first seven months. But Mr. Kushner was not alone. Stephen K. Bannon, the former chief White House strategist, and Reince Priebus, the former chief of staff, also occasionally used private email addresses. Other advisers, including Gary D. Cohn and Stephen Miller, sent or received at least a few emails on personal accounts, officials said.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, who is married to Mr. Kushner, used a private account when she acted as an unpaid adviser in the first months of the administration, Newsweek reported Monday. Administration officials acknowledged that she also occasionally did so when she formally became a White House adviser.
Again, it’s a bad look. If you’re going to lecture Democrats on transparency, accountability, and security, be scrupulous about conducting official government business on your official government account. Otherwise you’re asking for them to score points on you. But that said, many government officials do use private email sporadically for official business. It’s not illegal so long as they forward the message to their official accounts so that they’re archived for record-keeping purposes.
What was odd and dangerous about Hillary’s practices was (a) she used private email exclusively, suggesting an intent to avoid government archives altogether; (b) she used a not-very-secure homebrew private server so that her correspondence would be under her complete control; and (c) her correspondence hosted on that not-very-secure server included classified information. Remember? Big FBI investigation, Comey press conference, last-minute reopening of the case just before the election? They weren’t investigating her for improper archiving, they were investigating her for mishandling classified info. If and when we find out that anyone on Team Trump was also transmitting classified material through their private accounts, then yeah, that would be the “height of hypocrisy.” Until then, this is deliberate obfuscation by Hillary capitalizing on people’s poor memories and/or ignorance of what Emailgate was really about.
She gets something else wrong too. At one point she claims she’d be surprised if Republicans in Congress bothered to investigate Team Trump’s newly discovered email practices. Today’s headline: “Gowdy joins Democrats in probing Trump administration’s use of personal email.”