Skip to 3:25 below for the key bit. I’m giving her bonus points for the sheer technical difficulty involved in this massive lie, in which she ends up so far from the truth that, paradoxically, she stumbles into something truthful inadvertently. What she says here is like saying that cheez whiz and dog sh*t are “apples and oranges” as condiments. That’s … true, but not a point typically made by someone who prefers dog sh*t. Same here. Setting up a private email server to evade government oversight and then deleting its contents haphazardly to sidestep public accountability is apples-and-oranges compared to someone declining to voluntarily release their private tax returns, but it ain’t because the latter is worse. Trump is still a private citizen, under no legal obligation to disclose his finances; if you have a problem with him refusing to do that, you’re free to punish him by withholding your vote in November. Clinton was the country’s top diplomat, subject to federal recordkeeping laws and legally obliged to handle classified material responsibly. She failed spectacularly, to the point where the head of the FBI had to give a press conference on national television all but accusing her of gross negligence in violation of 18 U.S.C. 793. Apples and oranges, just like the lady said.
And that’s not the only lie here. The reporter asks her what was on those missing emails. Personal stuff, she chirps! Nope, not according to Jim Comey:
The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014. We found those additional e-mails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private e-mail domain. Others we found by reviewing the archived government e-mail accounts of people who had been government employees at the same time as Secretary Clinton, including high-ranking officials at other agencies, people with whom a Secretary of State might naturally correspond…
With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level…
It is also likely that there are other work-related e-mails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.
Her lawyers didn’t even attempt a meticulous separation of work-related and personal emails, Comey noted. All they did was read headers and enter keyword searches to make a snap judgment about whether each individual message was work or personal. All he would allow by way of exoneration is that he detected no deliberate attempt to conceal material from the feds by deleting it, although of course we’ll never know for sure because those unrecoverable emails are gone for good. They wouldn’t have been, had Clinton not chosen to avoid the State Department’s automatic cataloguing of her correspondence in the first place.
The smart way to play this, I think, would have been to say something like, “I’ve admitted many times that my email policy was a mistake, although an innocent one. Accountability is important. I’ve tried to make amends by releasing decades of tax returns. I would think Donald Trump, who spends so much time attacking Washington as corrupt, would want to set an example of accountability by releasing his own.” Contrition is the smart play, not stupidly inviting people to compare which candidate’s concealment is worse. She’ll lose that argument every time, deservedly.