As I recently wrote, the value of the Hillary Clinton emails coming out of the State Department is limited at best. The defining factor in evaluating such documents will remain the inconvenient truth that they represent only the information Clinton’s team chose to share. But still, interesting tidbits have been cropping up from the ones we’ve seen thus far. That’s probably why Clinton would rather rip the band aid off early, get them all out in the press and then simply move on. By the time the first votes are cast, her team would be able to shrug off any lingering questions by calling them old news.
Unfortunately, the State Department’s hands are tied and they’re unable to play along with the plan. In possibly the worst possible scenario for the Clinton campaign, State is now proposing to keep releasing them in batches every two months for the rest of the year.
The State Department is proposing to release batches of former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails every 60 days beginning next month.
“The Department proposes that it make its next production of non-exempt portions of the emails by posting them on the website on June 30, 2015, and that it make rolling productions in the same way every 60 days thereafter,” Justice Department lawyers said in court filing Tuesday night (posted here). “The Department will strive to produce as many documents as possible on each production date, and will file a status report one week after each production to inform the Court of the number of pages posted.”
Last week, U.S. District Judge Rudoph Contreras rejected State’s initial proposal that it not produce the bulk of the 55,000 pages of emails until January of next year. The judge ordered the agency to come up with a new proposal allowing for “rolling” releases of the records.
State said Tuesday that it is pledging to get all releaseable emails out by January, but will try to finish the process sooner. The proposal does not commit to or estimate the number of pages to be included in each release.
The pressure continues to grow for Hillary Clinton to take serious questions from the press and to get out and face the public. For the time being, she seems to be standing pat, preferring heavily vetted private meetings to “listen” to people about the issues which concern them. But there have been a few cracks in the armor, with her office releasing statements – or more correctly, half statements – on a few subjects such as the pending Pacific trade deal. All she’s really said about the emails thus far is that she wants them released too… and the sooner the better.
No kidding. I can’t say as I blame her, either. This new roll out plan has to be the equivalent of a media waterboarding for her. In an ideal world such as the one her team no doubt initially pictured, she would be picking and choosing the most populist topics from the buffet and giving impassioned speeches on things like income inequality, racial disparity and how awful all of the Republicans are. Unfortunately for her, the campaign landscape is now just a growing reservoir of questions about one scandal after another and the dam is going to break sooner or later.
And the “later” that date comes, the closer it will be to when voters begin showing up at primary polling stations. Second look at Bernie Sanders?