On Monday, John covered the story of how a few dozen more “lost” Hillary Clinton emails suddenly turned up as a result of the continual prodding from Judicial Watch. By this point a headline such as that probably doesn’t garner much attention from conservative audiences because we’ve grown so used to each and every aspect of Clinton’s original assertions turning out to be false. Even the content of these notes from inside the State Department didn’t really contain any bombshells in terms of classified information running wild or dark confessions. But in at least a few of them we got a peek at the thought process which guided Clinton’s original decisions to set up her own secret communications system and the process she used to unilaterally decide which ones the public should see and which should be flushed into the data dumpster.
These revelations seem to have taken even the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza by surprise, leading him to confess that Clinton’s original story simply doesn’t add up.
The latest batch of emails suggest that Clinton’s filter to decide between the personal and the professional was far from foolproof. That these emails never saw the light of day before Monday — or before a conservative legal advocacy group petitioned for their release — opens up the possibility that there are plenty more like them that Clinton chose to delete but shouldn’t have. And it provides more fodder for the Republican argument that Clinton appointing herself as judge, jury and executioner for her emails was, at best, a very, very bad decision and, at worst, something more nefarious than just bad judgment.
Then there’s this quote from a newly released March 2009 email between Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin about the email setup: “I have just realized I have no idea how my papers are treated at State. Who manages both my personal and official files? … I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want.”
The WaPo isn’t typically known for being particularly harsh with Clinton on this subject to say the least, but these latest revelations have literally struck Cillizza as one of those things that make you go hmmm. (My apologies to our younger readers for a quarter century old C+C Music Factory reference.)
Clinton’s initial explanation, offered more times than we can count by now, was that this wasn’t the best decision, but it was done as a matter of convenience. Now we see that she was actively engaged in discussions with Huma Abedin regarding who had access to her personal and office communications and designing the system we want. Chris is being rather charitable when he goes on to say that this suggests a bit more active agency than Clinton initially indicated. It’s an admission that this was a deliberate plan to shield her emails.
And what of the erasures which Cillizza correctly points to? She wiped out more than half of her archive, assuring everyone that the deleted documents were strictly personal, dealing with things like planning her daughter’s wedding. But this small batch of letters clearly shows that some of them which she failed to turn over were 100% work related, dealing with one of her top aides and covering questions of public records and storage. How many more of those tens of thousands of documents which evaporated into the ether were actually part of what should have been the public record?
We may never know at this point. But what we do know is that a majority of the country was apparently on the right track when they said that the first word they associate with Hillary Clinton is “liar.”