Bloomberg broke this story last night, though this revelation has felt inevitable for weeks. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, it turns out, is rather skilled at investigating -- especially when servers ordered 'wiped' clean by senior government officials weren't actually wiped. What lies within? It feels like a matter of time before we begin to find out:
The FBI has recovered personal and work-related e-mails from the private computer server used by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, according to a person familiar with the investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s success at salvaging personal e-mails that Clinton said had been deleted raises the possibility that the Democratic presidential candidate’s correspondence eventually could become public. The disclosure of such e-mails would likely fan the controversy over Clinton’s use of a private e-mail system for official business. The FBI is investigating how and why classified information ended up on Clinton’s server. The probe probably will take at least several more months, according to the person, who described the matter on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing and deals with sensitive information...Outside computer specialists have said the FBI has the technical capability to recover deleted e-mails. The exact number of personal e-mails recovered by the FBI could not be learned. Once the e-mails have been extracted, a group of agents has been separating personal correspondence and passing along work-related messages to agents leading the investigation, the person said.
That last bit seems key. It suggests that among the tens of thousands of emails "permanently" and unilaterally deleted by Clinton's team were, in fact, non-personal messages, which would contradict one of Mrs. Clinton's key claims. Her assertion that she turned over every single email related to official business has already been disproven, but this new report may confirm the lie. And Team Clinton shouldn't count on this issue fading anytime soon -- this dark storm cloud is going to continue to hover for months: "The bureau’s probe is expected to last at least several more months, according to the person. That timeline would push any final determination closer to the Democratic presidential primary calendar, which kicks off Feb. 1 with the Iowa caucuses," the story says. As the sword of Damocles hangs above Hillary's campaign, will Democrats roll the dice and circle the wagons, or seek out a less damaged nominee? Meanwhile, another Hillary falsehood has been exposed, this time by the State Department, which has heretofore performed gymnastics to protect her:
Throughout the controversy over her use of a private e-mail system while she was secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton has described her decision last year to turn over thousands of work-related e-mails as a response to a routine-sounding records request. “When we were asked to help the State Department make sure they had everything from other secretaries of state, not just me, I’m the one who said, ‘Okay, great, I will go through them again,’?” Clinton said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And we provided all of them.” But State Department officials provided new information Tuesday that undercuts Clinton’s characterization. They said the request was not simply about general record-keeping but was prompted entirely by the discovery that Clinton had exclusively used a private e-mail system. They also said they first contacted her in the summer of 2014, at least three months before the agency asked Clinton and three of her predecessors to provide their e-mails.
When confronted with this discrepancy, the flailing Democratic frontrunner offered…nothing:
"I don't know that. I can't answer that." -- Hillary Clinton responding to new WaPo report on her emails. http://t.co/emea7dGVqQ— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) September 23, 2015
Hillary Clinton lies. We're up to -- what -- nine or ten provable, verifiable untruths about the email scandal alone now? Mrs. Clinton has an image problem, an ethics problem, and quite possibly a legal problem. And a major political problem. Ron Fournier sums up the deteriorating optics: