Considering the fact that both Hillary Clinton’s allies and the White had six full months to come up with an excuse for her flagrant violation of State Department and White House guidelines governing the use of private emails, you might think that they would have come up with a better excuse than, “Jeb did it, too.” And yet, here we are.
According to a 17-page memo circulated by the pro-Clinton group HRC Research and obtained by National Review, Clinton’s chief self-defense thus far has consisted almost entirely of noting that a number of Republican elected officials also used private email accounts to conduct official business. Chief among them was former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who, like Clinton, also set up his own home server with a private email address while in office.
CNN observed, however, that there are a few key distinctions between Bush’s “email scandal” and Clinton’s.
Clinton was the secretary of state, privy to classified information and involved in high-stakes diplomatic efforts; Bush was the chief executive of a state and not involved in foreign policy — unless he discussed it over email with his brother, then-President George W. Bush. Clinton exclusively used her personal email; Bush also sometimes used a state address.
“Bush has released hundreds of thousands of emails from the personal account he used during his eight years as governor in the name of transparency — and after public records requests for those emails,” CNN reported. Clinton, too, has released a number of emails to the State Department for review, but there is no way to know if she has been entirely transparent and presented all the emails she ever sent to fulfill archiving requirements.
The Washington Examiner’s T. Becket Adams revealed that reporters and pundits alike are not making many of these distinctions when they link Bush and Clinton’s email woes.
“Jeb Bush used his personal account to conduct state, political & personal business. His team released state business emails to the public,” MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt reported. “Jeb Bush owns the server that hosts his personal email, his spokeswoman says.”
“But this is different. Jeb isn’t a Clinton. Why would we cover his private email server the same as hers?” CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Paula Begala said.
Brock accused the media of employing a “double standard” in coverage of Clinton’s unusual email arrangement, which appears to flout federal laws regarding government correspondence and record-keeping.
In an appearance on a local Iowa radio station on Friday, Bush was asked to address the unflattering comparisons between his behavior and Clinton’s to which the former secretary of state’s allies are appealing.
During his conversation with Radio Iowa this morning, Bush also commented on the controversy surrounding the private computer server Hillary Clinton used for her email when she was secretary of state. Bush, as Florida’s governor, used a private email account and personal server. He still encourages people to send messages to that [email protected] address, but Bush indicated that, if he’s elected president, he would not use a private email account.
“For security purposes, you need to be behind a firewall that recognizes the world for what it is and it’s a dangerous world and security would mean that you couldn’t have a private server,” Bush said. “It’s a little baffling, to be honest with you, that didn’t come up in Secretary Clinton’s thought process.”
That’s really all that needs to be said. Clinton was subject to a number of security and archival requirements that are not imposed on state-level politicians or even members of Congress. The reason for this is self-evident: Virtually every issue that Clinton dealt with as America’s chief diplomat was a matter of national security. If the
Perhaps because of its flimsy premise, Clinton defenders are already dropping this attempt at exculpation.
— Lanny Davis (@LannyDavis) March 6, 2015
Thus, Clinton’s crisis management implodes. If this is how Team Hillary runs a rapid response operation, 2016 is going to be a very long year for Democrats.