Time mag broke the news yesterday that slightly more than half of her 60,000+ e-mails were designated “personal” and trashed based on keyword searches.”[T]his review did not involve opening and reading each email,” Time claimed, even though Hillary surely had the staff manpower and the cash to make sure that each individual e-mail was reviewed before it was turned over to State.
But how did the keyword searches work? According to a document distributed by her aides after this week’s press conference, like this:
First, a search was done of all emails Clinton received from a .gov or state.gov account during the period she was secretary of state — from 2007 to 2013.
Then, with the remaining emails, a search was done for names of 100 State Department and other U.S. government officials who Clinton may have had correspondence with during her tenure.
Next, the emails were organized and reviewed by sender and recipient to “account for non-obvious or non-recognizable email addresses or misspellings or other idiosyncrasies.”
Lastly, of the emails still left over, a “number of terms” were searched, including “Benghazi” and “Libya.”
If you’re worried about Hillary making pay-to-play deals with foreign powers via the Clinton Foundation, keep worrying. There’s nothing in the above that suggests e-mails with foreign officials made it into the keyword dragnet. There’s also no reason to believe the keywords scrupulously captured every exchange between Hillary and, say, her top lackeys Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin even though both of them worked for her at the State Department. Mills and Abedin also used private e-mail, and likely used it to keep their conversations hidden from public archives just as Hillary did. To believe that all of Hillary’s e-mails with them ended up being caught by keywords, you need to believe that the three of them went to the trouble of setting up private accounts even though they expected their correspondence would end up being turned over by Hillary anyway. That doesn’t compute. There’s also no reason to think any of them stuck to using just one private e-mail account; on the contrary, we know already that Hillary used several, some with her name or initials in the username but at least one (er, “mau_suit”) with neither. Did Mills and Abedin have nonidentifiable private accounts? Did Hillary tell her lawyers about those accounts, knowing that if she didn’t, the keyword search would miss all relevant e-mails and they’d be deleted as “personal” without anyone ever knowing?
Also, let’s be real: There’s no earthly way Hillary Clinton turned over 30,000+ work-related e-mails to the State Department, knowing that GOP oppo researchers would read every one of them before the 2016 campaign, without reading and approving them herself first. It’s entirely possible that the “personal” e-mails were bulk-deleted based on nothing more than keywords; it’s not remotely possible that the “work” e-mails were produced based on nothing more than keywords, without Team Hillary picking through them to make sure nothing “unhelpful” had made it into the pile. If that’s true, that Hillary used two different standards of review for “work” and “personal” e-mails, is there any plausible explanation apart from her wanting in both cases to make sure damaging information was suppressed before it could be produced? If keywords were reliable enough not only to distinguish between work and personal e-mails but to justify deleting the latter sight unseen, why wouldn’t they also be reliable enough to justify turning over the “work” pile sight unseen? Let’s find out exactly what happened to that “work” pile once the keyword process was done. If she was consistent in sticking with a keyword search for both types of e-mails, then there should not only be work stuff that was missed in the personal pile — and now deleted, presumably forever — there should also be personal stuff that made it into the work pile. For instance, an e-mail from a deputy at State written from an official State address that asked “How’s the yoga coming along?” should have made it into Hillary’s work e-mails given the crude parameters of the keyword search described in the excerpt above. Are there any e-mails like that in what State has? If not, why not?
If you missed it yesterday, here’s Jen Psaki playing dumb about whether Hillary signed a Form OF-109 when she finally stepped down at State. That’s the form that declares, under penalty of perjury, that you’ve turned over all records — including e-mails — to the State Department that you were required to turn over. Hillary didn’t turn over her work e-mails until two years after leaving the department so we know that she must have lied in signing the form — if she signed it. And whether she did or not, as John Nolte points out, it’s bad news either way. If she didn’t sign, why didn’t she? If she did sign, how is she not guilty of perjury?
Update: For the second straight day: You cannot be serious.
Hillary Clinton’s explanation for her use of a personal email account while she served as secretary of state suffered another blow Friday as the State Department disclosed that the email accounts of senior department officials were not automatically archived until last month.
Clinton said at a press conference Tuesday that she believed that the vast majority of work-related emails she sent or received from her private account were “preserved” because she was in correspondence with other officials using “.gov” accounts.
So State, which has formally instructed employees for 10 years to use official work accounts for official department business, didn’t bother to automatically archive correspondence in those accounts — at least among top department officials — until a month ago. And Hillary Clinton, who claimed it’s no big deal that she uses a private account since her messages supposedly would have been caught and archived in her deputies’ State accounts, may well have known that. Which would mean she lied, egregiously. Again.
Am I right in understanding this to mean that State has nothing of Hillary’s, up to and including messages she sent to official State accounts, apart from what she herself has turned over? It’s all lost except what Her Majesty has designated as fit for public review? Or were some/most/all of the people she was e-mailing at State diligent about archiving their e-mails manually, despite the lack of automatic archiving? How much does State have, exactly?
Update: Basically, yeah.
What Psaki is basically saying is that they started archiving at the same time the Clinton email story was revealed.
— John Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) March 13, 2015