Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and the best the Democratic Party has to offer to lead the country, is in a pinch. Either she’s a complete fraud and liar or so completely out of touch with reality that someone should hide the car keys from her, even though she hasn’t driven in 20 years.
When asked on Tuesday if she’d tried to wipe clean her secret, unsecured email server, Clinton came across like someone who’d wiped her brain clean.
Her answer, the first time it was asked, was, “My personal emails are my personal business, right? We went through a painstaking process and turned over 55,000 pages of anything we thought could be work-related. Under the law, that decision is made by the official. I was the official. I made those decisions, and as I just said over 1,200 of the emails have already been deemed not work-related. All I can tell you is in retrospect had I used a government account and I’d said: ‘You know what, let’s release everything. Let’s let everybody in America see what I did for four years,’ we would have the same arguments.”
Take a moment and think about that.
Forget the absurdity of her claim of transparency since her records are, or at least were supposed to be, subjected to the Federal Records Act. There’s something else in her statement which should lead to more serious questions.
Focus on the “55,000 pages” part. Are we to believe Hillary sat down at her desktop printer and printed more than 55,000 pages of emails? That’s 110 reams of paper and God only knows how much ink. Unless she had a printer that was certified secure to handle classified information, she could not print those documents on her home printer.
The Clinton mansion is large enough to handle an industrial-sized printer/copier, but it’s unlikely there is one there. That means the time involved would, assuming an average of 30 pages per minute on a home printer, take Hillary around 1,800 minutes to print out those pages. That’s 30 hours. If she didn’t do it straight through, that would leave those printed pages unguarded while she slept.
If this were the method she chose, which is doubtful, the odds are slim that she did this printing even over the course of two days, or by herself. It’s more likely it was done over a period of a few weeks with the help of staff. Did they all have the proper clearance? If she left the room, or more likely the house, with those classified documents sitting anywhere, she violated the law.
After removing the prospect of her printing that many pages at home, the other possibility is she had someone else do it – probably her lawyer, David Kendall.
Kendall is a long-time Clinton ally who had thumb drives with the classified emails on them in his possession for some time. Putting aside whether it was legal for him to possess those documents, it’s highly likely his law offices have one of those high-capacity printers that could spit out 55,000 pieces of paper fairly quickly. But it’s highly unlikely that printer is certified secure by the intelligence community, which would make it illegal to print classified documents on it.
Who possessed and printed Hillary’s emails is important because she knew, or should have known (it doesn’t legally matter), there was classified material in them, up to and including the U.S. government’s highest classification.
So who printed them? Where were they printed? How was that mountain of papers handled and guarded during that process? Where is the printer they were printed on?
These may seem like trivial matters, but there are people in jail right now for mishandling classified material who took much more care than any of the options Hillary Clinton likely used.
Hillary Clinton has a lot of explaining to do, but she’s not willing or able to do it. If she allows the press anywhere near her in the next year, and that’s not a given, how these pages came to be printed and delivered are questions she should be asked.
Another question, a much simpler one, is why didn’t she just hand over electronic copies of her email? She was willing to put scans of them on thumb drives … why not the original version? That would make them easily searchable and would show an electronic trail if they’d been altered from their original form and had, say, classified markings removed. Hmm… Maybe she should be asked about that too?
Of course, this would require an honest media interested in asking uncomfortable questions to the leading Democrat in the race to be president. The odds of that happening are about as low as the odds of Hillary following the laws governing the handling of classified documents.