Last night John covered the last (or perhaps just the latest if more turn up) batch of released emails from Hillary Clinton’s bathroom closet server. As usual, the trove of what we got wasn’t nearly as interesting as what we didn’t get, specifically the Top Secret material and redacted portions of the sensitive ones. To begin digging into the pile, it’s unclear if there’s anything really “new” here which we didn’t already know. There was obviously potentially critical national security information hanging around where it shouldn’t be, but that’s just the status quo at this point. CNN has a fairly good summary of the first bits unearthed in this excavation, and pays particular attention to what may be yet to come, not from Clinton herself, but from those deepest inside her circle.
But it would be premature for those staffers to celebrate, since the department is still in the midst of processing dozens of related requests.
The State Department is furthermore being sued for the emails of top aides, and for the tens of thousands of emails Clinton deemed personal and didn’t turn over for review.
At a hearing last week in one such lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said he’s considering asking the State Department to subpoena Clinton, and aide Huma Abedin, in an effort to learn more about those emails.
Huma Abedin is a name long familiar to regular readers here and politically active folks across the nation. Few people have enjoyed the level of trust and insider status in Clinton World as Abedin. Those connections appear to have paid off handsomely for Huma as she landed multiple, lucrative jobs inside the government and in the private sector while Clinton’s career progressed. She also seems to have gotten very “lucky” when an embezzlement charge leveled against her by the Inspector General of the State Department was jettisoned without comment by Barack Obama’s Attorney General.
But now that close relationship may be coming back to bite her. Over at Bloomberg, Ben Brody breaks down the next phase of the investigations which CNN alluded to above. There’s the potential for much more discovery, and it will largely focus on a handful of top tier aides including Abedin.
Using federal disclosure laws and the power of congressional inquiry, her critics are setting sights on aides like Abedin and onetime chief of staff Cheryl Mills, who have worked for Clinton for years and now serve in key roles, and even daughter Chelsea Clinton. The focus may lead to evidence becoming public as the presidential race heats up, potentially landing the parties in court or stoking congressional probes, the critics say.
Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton, called the myriad investigations into former aides and campaign officials “nothing more than fishing expeditions by right-wing groups that have devoted themselves to attacking the Clintons for decades.”…
That timeline “isn’t good news if you’re Hillary Clinton, because it means that this is going to keep the issue alive, and it’s going to be a source of new information,” said Anne Weismann, executive director of nonprofit watchdog Campaign for Accountability and a former Justice Department lawyer who oversaw government information litigation.
Rather than ending, the journey to the bottom of Hillary Clinton’s activities from the period when she was Secretary of State may only be taking a turn onto another long and winding road. Given how much power government staffers have (which is considerable if you know how the game is played), the real treasure trove may be found in Abedin’s records. She would have had access to pretty much everything that went on and was responsible for receiving, sorting and forwarding information for the boss. She likely couldn’t be compelled to spill anything before a congressional committee (particularly since they already tried that with little to no success) where she could simply take the Fifth. But if FOIA requests or congressional summons dredge up anything in her official communications we could be off to the races again.
You almost have to feel bad for Huma Abedin at this point. She could have bailed out on all of this and just gone home to be with her family. But then she’d be stuck in the house all day with… Anthony Weiner.