Via the Standard, Jazz touched on this last night but it deserves extra attention. At the moment, E-mailgate is three scandals in one. (Maybe four eventually, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.) The first is Clinton violating her own department’s regulations on sticking to official government e-mail accounts for official government business. Not only didn’t she comply with that, she didn’t make a pretense of complying: Her private e-mail server was registered before she was sworn in as SoS and her official State e-mail account was never activated. That’s the “Clintons think the rules don’t apply to them” angle to all this. Every Clinton scandal has one. The second scandal is the inexplicably piss-poor security she used to protect her private server even though she and Bill had the means to hire the best tech experts in the world to lock it down for her. She went to great lengths to prevent American voters from reading her e-mails by taking her correspondence off the grid, but when it came to preventing foreign hackers from reading them, she couldn’t be bothered to pony up a few hundred thousand bucks to do it right. That’s the “how can we trust President Hillary with national security after this?” angle.
Now here’s Gowdy with the third scandal, that Hillary obviously still hasn’t turned over all of her e-mails related to official State business. Her staff claims she did that a few months ago, and State itself claims they turned over everything relevant to Libya and Benghazi to Gowdy’s House committee. But if that’s true, says Gowdy, how come there are no e-mails from the trip to Libya that she took in October 2011? The famous photo of her with her shades on, checking her Blackberry, was taken on October 18, 2011 aboard a military aircraft bound for Tripoli. The rebels had recently seized the capital from Qaddafi and Hillary was on her way to chat with the transitional government about nation-building. Qaddafi himself was killed just two days later. These were, to put it mildly, momentous days in the Libyan revolution. And yet, according to Gowdy, his committee has no messages from Hillary — zero — during that trip. Either the Secretary of State went totally dark on e-mail during enormous upheaval in a country Obama was using as a showpiece for lefty hawks’ “responsibility to protect” doctrine or she (and/or State) is withholding communications. And that’s not the only long stretch of radio silence in her e-mails, per Gowdy. Nixon, to follow the analogy du jour, had the 18-and-a-half-minute gap. Hillary, per Gowdy, has e-mail gaps stretching many months. The White House’s chief defense of her private e-mail usage last week was that there’s really no harm, no foul so long in a government official using private e-mail so long as copies of her correspondence are turned over promptly to government archives. Not only weren’t they turned over promptly — it took two years for Team Clinton to finally pony up — but Gowdy’s accusing her outright here of not turning over messages related to key foreign policy developments at all.
An ominous possibility is that those e-mails weren’t turned over because they no longer exist. That’s what made having a private e-mail server potentially so attractive to Hillary — unlike people who use commercial e-mail services, she could erase all traces that an e-mail had been sent or received on her end by simply wiping it from her personal server. Maybe Team Clinton went through her files systematically after she stepped down at State and scrubbed what needed to be scrubbed, knowing that this would eventually blow up and she’d be asked to turn over her archives. The next step for Gowdy’s committee is to compare the e-mail records they have from Hillary to the records they have from people she corresponded with. If they don’t have two identical copies of every e-mail she sent or received — one from her own server, the other from the State Department account of whoever she was e-mailing with — then how does she explain that discrepancy? She should be asked to produce her own copy of every e-mail the committee already knows that she saw. If she can’t, there’s your proof that messages have been permanently deleted from her server. That’s when this scandal goes nuclear.
Exit question from Andy McCarthy: If Gowdy’s known for six months that Hillary routinely used private e-mail to conduct State business, why are we only hearing about it now? Where are the hearings? Where are the subpoenas?