The conservative group Judicial Watch has received responses from a Clinton lawyer regarding her email server, responses submitted “under penalty of perjury.” It relates to a FOIA lawsuit filed by the group over documents relating to the former first lady’s tenure as our top diplomat at the State Department. The answers to the 25 questions are fraught with Clinton not being able to recall key details about her private email arrangement at State, which wasn’t approved by officials. That talking point, in which Clinton said it was approved by the State Department, was blown up with the IG report last May. The ongoing debunking of Clinton email narrative has torpedoed her trust and honesty numbers with voters, half of which feel that her server was illegal.
The answers to the questions rehash what the FBI found about the investigation, but first—Clinton’s supposed amnesia about her email server (via Associated Press):
Clinton lawyer David Kendall provided the Democratic presidential nominee's sworn responses to 25 written questions submitted by Judicial Watch. The group has filed multiple lawsuits seeking copies of government documents from Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.
Clinton's answers provided no new information beyond what she told FBI agents during the recently closed investigation into whether she and her staff mishandled classified information.
In her responses, Clinton used some variation of "does not recall" at least 21 times.
For example, Clinton was asked when she decided to use her private email account to conduct government business and whom she consulted in making that decision.
Clinton said she recalled making the decision in early 2009, but she "does not recall any specific consultations regarding the decision."
Asked whether she was warned that using a private email account conflicted with federal record-keeping rules, Clinton responded that "she does not recall being advised, cautioned, or warned, she does not recall that it was ever suggested to her, and she does not recall participating in any communication, conversation, or meeting in which it was discussed."
In September, when the FBI released their notes about their investigation into the Clinton server, where we found that some emails discussed possible future drone strikes. The FBI also noted Clinton note being able to recall any training about the retention of federal records or handling classified information.
At the time of the release of those notes, CNN’s John King panel discussion on his show Inside Politics noted that while this might not change people’s minds about the email fiasco, concerning both sides already having opinions and those positions cementing, it’s still not good for the former first lady. The Washington Post’s Dan Balz noted that a) this isn’t the Clintons' first rodeo with scandal; and b) any good lawyer would tell their client “you don’t have to answer that fully and if you don’t recall—you don’t recall.” CNN’s Sara Murray noted that concerning Hillary’s controversies surrounding her email and the foundation, there are now concrete examples of Clinton’s incompetence with her emails and sensitive information; she cited the drone strikes, which is a covert problem, and relaying information about that over an unsecure server. Most voters would probably know that’s something that’s not acceptable. Balz’s colleague at The Post, Abby Phillip, also noted that while there was nothing criminal in the FBI’s notes about Clinton’s server, “there was still quite a bit that was unacceptable.”
Now, we have a high-ranking source at the FBI noting that the agents involved in the investigation were sickened by FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to file charges against Clinton—and that nearly everyone involved felt that her security clearance should’ve been yanked.
King also mentioned during this September segment that Clinton prided herself in being Ms. Detail, the nerd, the policy wonk, while Bill Clinton would run into someone after not seeing them for 20 years and remember what this person had for dinner at their last rendezvous. Given that both, especially Clinton, have prided themselves in being masters of details and in some cases memory—does she really think that folks are going to believe that she doesn’t remember key questions about her unusual, unsecure, and unauthorized email arrangement? I think you already know the answer to that.