When news of Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server emerged, the former Secretary of State pledged full cooperation with the State Department on transferring all work-related communications. This was not just a courtesy, but required by the Federal Records Act. Hillary claimed that her attorneys went through the e-mail database and found 30,000 work-related e-mails, but deleted a like amount of supposedly personal e-mails from the same time period — even though that would have meant that Hillary sent and/or received over 20 “personal” e-mails each day for four years.
After Sidney Blumenthal turned over his cache of e-mails to Hillary Clinton, the House Select Committee on Benghazi pointed out that his subpoenaed cache included messages State didn’t give them. Now State acknowledges that they didn’t get them from Hillary, either:
The State Department said Thursday that it could not locate “all or part” of 15 e-mails provided last week to the House Select Committee on Benghazi by Sidney Blumenthal from his exchanges with then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The committee chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who has raised repeated questions about whether Clinton covered up her activities related to theSeptember 2012 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, called the State Department disclosure “significant and troubling.”
It was the first indication that some 55,000 pages of e-mails from a private server Clinton used while in office were not a complete record of her work-related correspondence, and the latest turn in what has become a contentious political battle pitting committee Republicans against Clinton and committee Democrats, who have charged Gowdy with trying to undermine her presidential campaign.
CBS News downplays this a bit by noting that all of the missing e-mails predate the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. However, the scope of the select committee is all policy and action regarding Libya that led to the attack, and not just the attack itself and its aftermath. Trey Gowdy made that explicit from the beginning; in fact, he pledged to look less at the allegations of cover-ups and more into the policy and leadership failures that led to the deadly failure and the death of four Americans, including the first US Ambassador murdered in the line of duty in 33 years.
Despite the dodgy qualifiers, CBS still acknowledges that this provides concrete evidence that Hillary destroyed work-related communications:
The emails all predate the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. diplomatic facility and include scant words written by Clinton herself, the officials said. They consist of more in a series of would-be intelligence reports passed to her by longtime political confidant Sidney Blumenthal, the officials said.
Nevertheless, the fact that the State Department says it can’t find them among emails she provided surely will raise new questions about Clinton’s use of a personal email account and server while secretary of state and whether she has provided the agency all of her work-related correspondence, as she claims.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, released a statement Thursday saying, “This confirms doubts about the completeness of Clinton’s self-selected public record and raises serious questions about her decision to erase her personal server – especially before it could be analyzed by an independent, neutral third-party arbiter.”
Clinton’s flack Nick Merrill, when reached for contact, offered this tautology in response:
When asked about the discrepancy, Nick Merrill, a Clinton campaign spokesman, said, “She has turned over 55,000 pages of materials to the State Department, including all emails in her possession from Mr. Blumenthal.”
In other words, she turned over what we said she had after she didn’t have what she once had. The “55,000 pages of materials” was what Hillary claimed was left after they deleted the “personal” e-mails and destroyed the server. Merrill’s statement says nothing at all — it’s completely unresponsive. We already had the “55,000 pages of materials,” and at least some of Blumenthal’s e-mails weren’t part of it — so we know Hillary Clinton destroyed them rather than provide them as required by law.
What else has Hillary Clinton destroyed to cover her tracks at State? That would normally be a question for the Department of Justice, but Hillary’s vying to put herself in control of the DoJ after Obama leaves. Wouldn’t that be … convenient?