The Clinton email scandal took another interesting turn this week following revelations that the RNC had obtained new emails from the White House and the State Department through a Freedom of Information request. The Wall Street Journal covered the story in which communications between the two offices revealed that as soon as news of the private bathroom server came to light, the Obama administration was working to “manage” the scandal and minimize discussion of it where possible. One case in particular was a discussion of whether or not they could keep John Kerry from being asked about it.
Newly disclosed emails show top Obama administration officials were in close contact with Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign in early 2015 about the potential fallout from revelations that the former secretary of state used a private email server.
Their discussion included a request from the White House communications director to her counterpart at the State Department to see if it was possible to arrange for Secretary of State John Kerry to avoid questions during media appearances about Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement.
In another instance, a top State Department official assured an attorney for Mrs. Clinton that, contrary to media reports, a department official hadn’t told Congress that Mrs. Clinton erred in using a private email account.
This certainly looks like political activity rather than the normal affairs associated with conducting the people’s business. But as the WSJ goes on to point out, we haven’t uncovered an actual crime here because a certain amount of politicking is allowed in these offices.
Meredith McGehee, chief of policy, programs, and strategy at the nonpartisan advocacy group Issue One and an expert on ethics and campaign finance, said the email exchange would probably raise no legal concerns because federal law permits members of the White House staff to engage in some political activity.
While this likely won’t come as any sort of shocking revelation to those who have been paying attention, it does go to underscore a running theme in the Obama administration which has been obvious since day one. The revelation that Clinton was hiding her communications, including classified information, should have been an immediate subject of concern to the White House. Instead, the concern shown was not for the security of our national intelligence assets, but for the protection of Clinton’s presidential bid which was already a certainty in all but name. Rather than trying to get to the bottom of a very dodgy and potentially dangerous situation, there was a circle the wagons mentality at the White House as they sought to minimize damage to Hillary Clinton’s election chances.
When you combine this information with the rather lackluster efforts by the FBI to hold anyone accountable the picture becomes more clear. The American people were not well served by the White House or the State Department throughout this entire affair. Partisan Democratic politics were put ahead of national security and the nation’s confidence in the integrity of the process should be justifiably shaken.