“They wanted to get away with it.” That’s was Clinton confidante Neera Tanden’s take on why Hillary Clinton and her aides hadn’t put out information about her private server months earlier. Tanden made the comment in an email to John Podesta on March 2, 2015, the day the NY Times published a story which made Clinton’s private server national news.
“I highly recommend she start making some other positive news soon,” Tanden wrote, probably in reference to the NY Times story. Podesta’s reply is sarcastic, “Really? That’s great advice.”
“Speaking of transparency, our friends Kendall, Cheryl and Phillipe sure weren’t forthcoming on the facts here,” Podesta says in another email to Tanden. He is referring to Hillary’s attorneys David Kendall and Cheryl Mills and also to Philipe Reines but it’s not clear if he is talking about them not giving much information to the NY Times or about some private exchange. Perhaps expecting how Tanden might respond Podesta adds, “Don’t be mean.”
A few minutes later, Tanden replies, “This is a cheryl special. Know you love her, but this stuff is like her Achilles heal. Or kryptonite. she just can’t say no to this s**t.” She continues, “Why didn’t they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy.”
Podesta replies, “Unbelievable.”
And then Tanden sends a response answering her own question. “I guess I know the answer,” she writes, “they wanted to get away with it.”
Note that she says “they” wanted to get away with it. It’s not one person she’s blaming. And that helps illuminate what Tanden says earlier in the email chain. When she writes, “she just can’t say no to this s**t” she’s talking about Mills. However, the though is that Mills should be saying no. No to whom? Only one person fits the bill: Hillary Clinton.
Neera Tanden has probably summed up Clinton’s behavior after leaving the State Department as well as anyone has. Why didn’t Clinton meet her obligation to turn over her official records when she left office in February 2013? Why did she wait until an inquiry from the Benghazi select committee led the State Department to ask for those records roughly 18 months later? Because “they wanted to get away with it.” It really is that simple.