State Dept's new 'email czar' to deal with Clinton records requests donated $2,700 to Clinton campaign just weeks ago pic.twitter.com/S2nxW1KgiK— Ted Bridis (@tbridis) September 8, 2015
Not quite as bad as allowing Iran to inspect itself at a contentious nuclear site, but perhaps a smidge worse than tapping a generous Obama donor to oversee the Justice Department's investigation of the IRS scandal. This gang pays quite a lot of lip service to accountability and transparency -- sometimes to the point of satire -- but they have zero interest in either. Janice Jacobs and the State Department argue that critics are up in arms over nothing, of course:
Ms. Jacobs said she made that donation as a private citizen and months before she had entered into conversations with the State Department about her new role. She retired from the State Department in June 2014; moreover, federal employees aren’t barred from donating to campaigns. “I think that the announcement lays it out pretty clearly what Secretary Kerry has hired me for and it’s not just the Clinton emails, but in general to make sure that the department is as responsive and efficient as it can be in handling the various document requests that come in,” she said. “He just wants to make sure it’s all well-coordinated and that deadlines are met and that we just look proactive and responsive.”
As Mary Katharine says, they want to "look proactive and responsive," yet the appearance of impropriety doesn't faze them one whit, evidently. Plus, Jacobs made her maximum contribution to Hillary's campaign whole months before taking on this role, so what's the big deal anyway? Speaking of optics, what does it say that the State Department's choice to oversee transparency efforts is an enthusiastic financial supporter of a woman who deliberately side-stepped transparency and national security protocols by installing a private, unsecure email server in her home, through which she improperly conducted all of her sensitive official business? Yeah, Jacobs will be a real stickler. Impartial, too. Which brings us back to Mrs. Clinton, whose campaign finally decided that a simulacrum of an apology was in order. As Katie noted earlier, they released a mea culpa email last night, defending Hillary's actions with four bullet points. Much like a recent campaign memo, this faux apology is riddled with intentional misdirection, misleading assertions, and outright falsehoods:
That's not how this works, Hillary. That's not how any of this works. pic.twitter.com/77TkyUSzjZ— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) September 9, 2015
Katie dealt with some of these statements in her post, but here are a few more thoughts, one by one:
(1) Hillary "takes responsibility" for something for which she's refused to apologize and still insists was totally above-board and permitted. What do those two words mean in this context anyway? Remember, the problem was not "using a personal account." The problem was using a single, unsecure account for all of her emails, both personal and professional. The problem was deliberately setting up an off-site, unsecure server for this purpose. The problem was habitually mishandling of classified materials. The problem was recklessly compromising top secret information. The problem was not reporting classification "spillage," as required.
(2) This scheme was not permitted under the rules; just the opposite. And her justifications on these points are "laughable," according to an expert on these matters, who happens to be a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. Hillary's email arrangement and conduct may well have broken federal law, which is why the FBI is actively investigating potential felony violations.
(3) Hillary Clinton both sent and received (at least) hundreds of classified emails, several of which have been determined to have contained top secret information. Claiming that the messages weren't "marked" classified is a red herring. Officials with security clearances are given extensive training about how to identify and handle sensitive information. Such material is "born classified," so to speak. Hillary pronounced herself "well aware of the classification requirements" earlier this year, meaning she's also well aware that fixating on official email markings is not a valid defense. A timely reminder from a former NSA analyst, steeped in these protocols:
One more time: Q: What do you call TS/SCI information (illegally) missing classification markings? A: TOPSECRET/SCI— John Schindler (@20committee) September 9, 2015
(4) She did not belatedly hand over all work-related emails to the State Department. She withheld an unknown number of them, which we know because one of her top confidant's unsecure, private emails were hacked and leaked. How many of the more than 30,000 "personal" emails she ordered destroyed actually pertained to her official duties? What didn't she want average Americans or investigators to see? The FBI may be able to answer those questions at some point.