Is this the “smoking gun” everyone has been waiting for in the Clinton email server scandal? Fox News broke a story last night which, at least on the surface, seems to indicate that it could be. Fox’s Ed Henry revealed a video of former State Department official Wendy Sherman appearing to brag about how communications were so slow in the old days, but now a much more nimble State Department could have all sorts of interesting things show up on their Blackberry on a moment’s notice. (Fox)
A 2013 video, obtained exclusively by Fox News, raises fresh questions about how Hillary Clinton handled sensitive information at the State Department.
In the video, veteran diplomat Wendy Sherman reveals that in the interest of speed, Clinton and her aides would share information that “would never be on an unclassified system” normally.
The questions surround a 2013 speech in which Sherman compared the technology differences between serving at the State Department in the administrations of President Bill Clinton and President Obama.
“Now we have BlackBerries, and it has changed the way diplomacy is done,” Sherman, who was undersecretary of state at the time, said in the 2013 on-camera remarks. “Things appear on your BlackBerries that would never be on an unclassified system. But you’re out traveling, you’re trying to negotiate something. You want to communicate with people, it’s the fastest way to do it.”
The video is included in this brief Fox report. Take a look and judge for yourself.
So was Sherman talking about the general capabilities of the technology or citing examples of times when restricted information was zooming around on Secretary Clinton’s hand held device? The Daily Caller notes that she referenced a specific conference where they happened.
As an example of that, Sherman cited a Sept. 2011 meeting Clinton and other officials held at the UN General Assembly with Lady Catherine Margaret Ashton, then-vice president of the European Commission, to discuss Middle East peace negotiations.
“And so they sat there, as they were having the meeting, with their Blackberries, transferring language back and forth between them and between their aides to multitask in quite a new fashion, to have the meeting and at the same time be working on the quartet statement,” Sherman said in the video…
Fox News found emails contained in the trove of records that Clinton gave to the State Department in Dec. 2014 which appear to refer to the meeting Sherman referenced. And indeed, show traffic containing now-classified information that was forwarded to Clinton. In one message from that same email chain, Clinton’s foreign policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, sent her a message that is now classified.
If the gun wasn’t smoking it was certainly still warm to the touch. The main issue here is that Wendy Sherman obviously isn’t sitting there and saying, Hey, look at us! We broke the law! But the fact that she talked about information that would never be on an unclassified system seems to be as close to an admission as we’re going to see. Also, since the meeting she’s discussing shows up in Hillary’s emails with items which were redacted as classified, well… how much more do you really need?
But that leaves us pretty much where we were before, doesn’t it? True, the fact that a member of Clinton’s staff at State was out there bragging about it adds a new twist and makes Hillary’s continued denials look all the more farcical. But we’re still not going to be getting a look at what actually showed up in those messages. We’re forced to rely on the FBI (and to a lesser extent, Congress) to confirm that the law was being broken. And as we’ve discussed here repeatedly, even if the FBI nails this down beyond a shadow of a doubt, none of it comes to fruition if Loretta Lynch isn’t willing to prosecute the case.
It was still a great scoop by Ed Henry and it’s one more drop in the drip, drip, drip of this sordid tale. But at the same time, there’s wasn’t a direct admission of guilt that closes the cell door on Hillary Clinton.