Come on, man. No one’s this gullible, right? Hillary Clinton violated the Federal Records Act for four years, hid all of her e-mails as Secretary of State for nearly six years, and only began giving some of those communications to State a couple of months ago. Now that the FOIA dodge has been exposed, Hillary wants everyone to believe that she’s a paragon of transparency.
No one’s buying this, are they?
I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015
Harf said Wednesday that the personal emails Clinton provided to the department will from now on be subject to every FOIA request it receives.
Clinton’s allies, including a network of outside groups designed to defend her, have pointed out repeatedly that she has handed over some 55,000 pages of documents to State — but critics have emphasized that her own staff was in charge of deciding which emails to provide.
The Clinton camp has not provided details of how those decisions were made.
And with Foggy Bottom in charge of reviewing which communications to release, the onus is on the department to determine whether they contain classified information.
Byron York points out that the State Department’s version of events makes it clear that Hillary wasn’t exactly volunteering to send over the data she provided. While Marie Harf did note that Hillary responded to their request, it was their request that prompted the response — and Harf didn’t claim that the response was comprehensive:
“So that’s everything?” asked the reporter. “We’re talking about the Retention Act. It doesn’t say ‘vast majority.’ It basically is about all of them.”
“Right,” said Harf. “We reached out and asked her to provide them. She provided a large amount, those 55,000.”
“But just say it’s everything if you think — ” said the reporter.
“Well how can I — I mean, I’m not in her email,” Harf said.
“Did she say it was everything when she sent it back?”
“When she responded, she said this was what she had — is my understanding — that was pertinent here. Those aren’t exact words, but that’s my understanding.”
The number 55,000 refers to printed pages, not numbers of individual messages in e-mail. They “cover” the “breadth” of Hillary’s tenure at State (presumably meaning from 2009-2013), but Harf admitted that she had no idea what percentage of Hillary’s e-mails this might comprise. As one reporter noted, Harf and State had no other choice but to take Hillary at her word.
That’s precisely what the FRA was written to prevent. Executive branch communications go through official channels in order to remove the officials from the decisions of what gets archived and what gets thrown out. Otherwise, corrupt and/or incompetent officials could cull out any incriminating evidence, save only what makes them look good and honest, and then claim that the historical record vindicates them. That is exactly what Hillary Clinton is trying to pull with this maneuver, and if Democrats nominate her, that culture of corruption is exactly what they’ll be endorsing … again.