The Clinton emails saga has gone from unbelievable to farcical in the span of a week. To recap (again), Clinton said all of her emails were immediately preserved by the State Department since the vast majority of the work-related emails she turned over were to State Department officials; that turned out not to be the case. This also comes after she admitted in her UN presser that she deleted emails she deemed personal or private. For the work-related emails she did turn over, Clinton said she went “above and beyond” in honoring State’s request. Then, Time reported that her lawyers actually never read any of the emails.
She also said that she used her personal email account out of convenience, which is saying she didn’t want to be bothered with using multiple devices, even though she admitted that she’s capable of doing so. The setting up of a private server alone to handle her email correspondences has raised eyebrows of mostly everyone. Bloomberg’s John Heilemann aptly noted that this is an unprecedented move, with Clinton acting as “sole judge and jury over” what she’d release and delete concerning the emails in question. “From the perspective of history that just looks weird. It does not smell right,” he added. Katie wrote earlier this morning that the “Ragin’ Cajun,’ James Carville, admitted on the Sunday morning talk shows that Hillary’s server was probably set up to avoid congressional oversight.
Now her spokesperson, Nick Merrill, says Clinton’s lawyers read the emails–and that a “robust” review took place (via ABC News) [emphasis mine]:
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill has released a statement saying that “in wanting the public to understand how robust of a search was conducted, the fact sheet laid out several examples of the methods used by the reviewers to double and triple check they were capturing everything."
The “fact sheet” refers to a question-and-answer document given out after the news conference last week.
The statement continues: "It was not meant to be taken as a list of every approach performed to ensure thoroughness. Those subsequent steps were in addition to reading them all, not in lieu of reading them all. (No different than our explaining such terms were used but not listing every search term used.) We simply took for granted that reading every single email came across as the most important, fundamental and exhaustive step that was performed. The fact sheet should have been clearer every email was read, which we are doing now.”
Well, this “forgot to mention” moment isn’t going to halt Speaker John Boehner’s impending investigation into the matter, which he’s expected to announce this week. Allahpundit over at Hot Air is still unconvinced at this incredulous development either way:
Also, let’s be real: There’s no earthly way Hillary Clinton turned over 30,000+ work-related e-mails to the State Department, knowing that GOP oppo researchers would read every one of them before the 2016 campaign, without reading and approving them herself first. It’s entirely possible that the “personal” e-mails were bulk-deleted based on nothing more than keywords; it’s not remotely possible that the “work” e-mails were produced based on nothing more than keywords, without Team Hillary picking through them to make sure nothing “unhelpful” had made it into the pile. If that’s true, that Hillary used two different standards of review for “work” and “personal” e-mails, is there any plausible explanation apart from her wanting in both cases to make sure damaging information was suppressed before it could be produced? If keywords were reliable enough not only to distinguish between work and personal e-mails but to justify deleting the latter sight unseen, why wouldn’t they also be reliable enough to justify turning over the “work” pile sight unseen? Let’s find out exactly what happened to that “work” pile once the keyword process was done. If she was consistent in sticking with a keyword search for both types of e-mails, then there should not only be work stuff that was missed in the personal pile — and now deleted, presumably forever — there should also be personal stuff that made it into the work pile. For instance, an e-mail from a deputy at State written from an official State address that asked “How’s the yoga coming along?” should have made it into Hillary’s work e-mails given the crude parameters of the keyword search described in the excerpt above. Are there any e-mails like that in what State has? If not, why not?
Allahpundit’s colleague Ed Morrissey is equally skeptical, writing that if Clinton's entourage read every email, then why even bother with keyword searches:
If they intended on reading the messages marked for deletion, then why do searches to exclude only a few dozen State Department personnel, for instance? In fact, why do keyword searches at all? Reading every e-mail negates the value of keyword searches, which is to identify subsets of data that are either specifically relevant or specifically irrelevant to the task at hand.
It seems from day one of this story, the Clinton team has done nothing but take on water as their narrative continues to sink into absurdity.