Wait, The State Department Already Had 90 Percent Of The Emails Clinton Turned Over?

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Mar 06, 2015 1:30 PM
Wait, The State Department Already Had 90 Percent Of The Emails Clinton Turned Over?

The Clinton email controversy isn’t going away, no matter how hard Media Matters’ David Brock–a die-hard Clintonite–tries to squash it. Clinton appears to have created multiple private email address, and a senior State Department official said that she was probably operating in direct violation of State Department policy regarding electronic communications for six years. Clinton’s way of executing official government business through a private server also exposed the United States to data breaches.

Additionally, it appears that 90 percent of the emails Clinton turned over could have already been in State’s hands since it was intra-department communication with employees using the state.gov email address. This pretty much kills any “she’s being transparent … because emails” talking point that some of her defenders have been peddling (via WaPo) [emphasis mine]:

Clinton did not address how she would handle records she did not submit to the State Department.

A Clinton aide would not say Thursday how many e-mails were withheld or describe the process used to decide which were purely personal.

Of the e-mails that were turned over to State, the Clinton aide said, 90 percent were correspondence between Clinton and agency employees using their regular government e-mail accounts, which end in state.gov.

The remaining 10 percent were communications between Clinton and other government officials, including some at the White House, along with an unknown number of people “not on a government server,” the aide said. The aide requested anonymity because the e-mails are not yet public.

Moreover, the policy of not using private email accounts on a routine basis for State Department officials has been in place since 2005, according to Politico. It’s been described as “clear cut.” To make matters worse, one of the reasons listed for the resignation of Scott Gration, our ambassador to Kenya, in 2012, was his use of a private email system.

The issue regarding the emails seems to be uniting left and right in media circles. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who describes himself as a "practical European socialist,” said, “Hillary Clinton’s [email] system was designed to defy Freedom of Information Act requests, which is designed to defy the law.”

Oh, and the reviewing process for these emails to see if they can be released to the public “could take months" (via AP):

The government will review a huge cache of Hillary Rodham Clinton's emails for possible release after revelations she conducted official business as secretary of state in the shadows of a private account. The disclosure has raised questions in the buildup to her expected presidential run about whether she adhered to the letter or spirit of accountability laws.

The matter is expected to result in the eventual release of thousands of emails from her private account, opening a new window on her tenure in high office and providing potential fodder to critics.

Officials said Thursday the review by the State Department could take months, potentially a drawn-out distraction for Clinton and an unnerving development for the many Democrats who see her as the party's presidential nominee-in-waiting for 2016.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the government can censor or withhold emails to protect information that would hurt national security, violate personal privacy or expose business secrets or confidential decision-making in certain areas. It wasn't clear whether the State Department would automatically apply those provisions to its review of Clinton's emails, or use its discretion to release even emails that might be covered under those exemptions.

And the music plays on.

H/T Josh Rogin