Here’s what Republican lawmakers are thinking after news that Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000-plus emails she deemed beyond the range of congressional inquiries: 1) During Clinton’s four years as secretary of state and after, Congress sent dozens, perhaps hundreds, of document requests, subpoenas and other inquiries to the State Department. 2) Many of those requests, probably the majority of them, covered the secretary of state’s office. 3) Congress never received Clinton’s emails as part of the Department’s response to those requests. 4) Clinton destroyed at least half of her total emails at a time when those requests from Congress — including subpoenas — were fully in effect. 5) Congress wants to know what was withheld…

Completely apart from Benghazi, Chaffetz knows he has a lot of work to do. For all those requests and subpoenas, over all those years, “the State Department has never certified that they have given us 100 percent of the documents,” Chaffetz says. Now, the Clinton revelations have shown that a full response was not possible, given the former secretary’s secret system.

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This has been a surprising two weeks for aides in President Barack Obama’s orbit as they’ve watched Hillary Clinton’s email mess unfold…

To sum up the feelings, all the way up to the highest levels: What. The. Hell

“You never feel like you’re quite getting the full story, because everyone’s got some side deal or some complicating factor,” said one former Obama aide, reflecting on dealing with Clinton and her circle. “I don’t think there was a conscious effort to watch out for scams. It was more just, you know who you’re dealing with.”…

They’re just hoping that this email server — “the president 100 percent would not have done it this way,” the former aide said, “this is such a clearly nontransparent way of going about it” — is the extent of the latitude she took that they didn’t know about.

Then again, the White House didn’t know she deleted 30,000 emails until they watched her announce it at her news conference on Tuesday. And aides acknowledge that they don’t know how much more they don’t know.

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Listen to the administration’s official voices, particularly at the White House and the State Department, and you’ll hear bureaucrats carefully keeping their distance from Clinton. Nobody wants to fully vouch for her truthfulness…

From the White House’s perspective, there’s nothing to be gained from climbing out on a limb to defend Clinton. Nobody in the administration can in good conscience defend what she did, especially now that she has admitted destroying 30,000-plus emails out of a larger group of documents that were the subject of active requests and subpoenas from Congress.

So that is the position Clinton finds herself in today. Republicans are after her for more information, Democrats are nervous about defending her, and the administration colleagues who are in the best position to vouch for her won’t even say they believe what she has told them. Clinton may escape this mess, but she’ll have to do it on her own.

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We are at the point now where, thanks to Team Clinton’s destruction of tens of thousands of “private” emails, the American public will never know what the Secretary of State was up to — but the Kremlin surely does. Kudos to the Associated Press for suing to see what can still be seen, but anybody acquainted with Clintonian ways should not expect much to emerge, ever.  If Hillary was up to anything shady in those destroyed emails — and given recent revelations of foreign fundraising by the Clinton Global Initiative that appears at least unethical, anyone sentient must wonder — people in Moscow who do not like us will be aware of it. The word you are looking for is kompromat.

The Snowden Operation was a bonanza for Russian intelligence and it hardly seems a coincidence that Vladimir Putin became much more audacious in foreign affairs, including his theft of Crimea and his resulting aggression against Ukraine, once the Kremlin knew exactly what U.S. intelligence was capable of, technically. Yet in light of EmailGate, it’s worth pondering whether Kremlin confidence in assessing — correctly — that the Obama administration would sit idly by as Moscow restarted the Cold War, had something to do with their excellent SIGINT look into American foreign policy-making at the highest level.

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Her sense of privelege and entitlement has been evident during the email scandal…

“Any government employee” wouldn’t happen to have access to a private server that was set up for a former U.S. president and guarded by the Secret Service…

Even if it were the case that most of the emails were sent to other government employees — and we can only go on Clinton’s word — her entire defense is premised on the assumption that everybody else in government dutifully followed rules that she disregarded because she found them inconvenient. If all government employees followed her lead and used their own private emails, then those emails she sent would not, in fact, have been preserved.

To some extent, it’s always the case that somebody in high office is going to have certain advantages over any ordinary employee. But there are differences between perks that come with the job, and violating rules that are in place to ensure that secret information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and that citizens know what’s happening within their own government.

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The point of regulations is to ensure government transparency. The point of owning the server is to ensure opacity. Because she holds the e-mails, all document requests by Congress, by subpoena, by Freedom of Information Act inquiries have ultimately to go through her lawyers, who will stonewall until the end of time — or Election Day 2016, whichever comes first.

It’s a smart political calculation. Taking a few weeks of heat now — it’s only March 2015 — is far less risky than being blown up by some future e-mail discovery. Moreover, around April 1, the Clinton apologists will begin dismissing the whole story as “old news.”…

In reality, Hillary Clinton is running on two things: gender and name. Gender is not to be underestimated. It will make her the Democratic nominee. The name is equally valuable. It evokes the warm memory of the golden 1990s, a decade of peace and prosperity during our holiday from history.

Now breaking through, however, is a stark reminder of the underside of that Clinton decade: the chicanery, the sleaze, the dodging, the parsing, the wordplay. It’s a dual legacy that Hillary Clinton cannot escape and that will be a permanent drag on her candidacy.

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God said, “I need somebody willing to do anything, believe anything, say anything, no matter how false, in order to attain power.” So God made a Clinton.

“I need somebody with a finger strong enough to wag at the cameras, but gentle enough to hit the power button on an industrial strength paper shredder. Somebody to bark at Congress, threaten cantankerous committee chairs, ignore subpoenas, and hide long sought after document troves deep in the bowels of the White House residence.” So God made a Clinton.

God said, “I need somebody willing to spend decades nursing naked ambition. And then watch it die when some upstart nobody from Chicago decides he doesn’t want to wait his turn. Then dry her eyes and say, ‘Maybe in 2016.’ I need somebody who can shiv a political enemy with nothing more than a nail file and an iPhone case she swore was way too inconvenient to carry around in addition to a Blackberry. And who, in primary and general campaign season, will doggedly complete the Sunday show sweep, and then pop up on TV again later that evening to tell you, ‘The server will remain private.’” So God made a Clinton.

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This wasn’t high-class spin. These were not respectable dodges. They didn’t make you grudgingly tip your hat at a gift for duplicity. I could almost feel an army of oppo people of both parties saying, “You can do better than that, Hillary!”

This wasn’t the work of a national, high-grade political response team, it was the thrown-together mess of someone who knew she was guilty of self-serving actions, who didn’t herself believe what she was saying, who didn’t think the press would swallow it, and who didn’t appear to care…

Defenses of Mrs. Clinton were ad hoc, improvised, flat-footed. It all looks disorderly, as if no one’s in charge, no one has drawn clear lines of responsibility or authority. We hear about loyalists, intimates, allies, pals, hangers-on, Friends of Hill. People buzz around her like bees on random paths to the queen…

After the news conference I thought what I never expected to think: Maybe she doesn’t really want this. Maybe that’s what this incompetence is meant to be signaling…

We all talk so much about the presidency and who’s got the best chance. Maybe it’s not Hillary. Maybe that’s over and no one knows, even her.

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Via Vox Populi Polling:

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