Hillary Clinton is the target of criticism after Wednesday’s release of an internal report that says she failed to follow rules about the handling if her email while Secretary of State.
The report by the Office of the Inspector General for the State Department cited Clinton’s use of a private email account to conduct State Department addresses as inappropriate for record keeping; she failed to provide emails for the first few months of her tenure; and her use of a private server for her email was neither approved nor secure.
Clinton has previously acknowledged that using a private email server was a mistake and she would do it differently if she had to do it again. In an interview with Univision’s Los Angeles affiliate, she said “nothing has changed” regarding the email story and she used personal email “just like previous secretaries of state.”
The report has given Clinton critics new ammunition to question her judgment and veracity. And there still is an FBI investigation of whether she mishandled classified information because of the email setup.
And the issues of character and national security are at the center of this presidential election.
Clinton’s Inexcusable, Willful Disregard for the Rules
Editorial Board – The Washington Post
During her tenure, State Department employees were told that they were expected to use approved, secure methods to transmit information that was sensitive but unclassified, or SBU. If they needed to transmit SBU information outside the department’s network, they were told to ask information specialists for help. The report said there is no evidence that Ms. Clinton ever asked, “despite the fact that emails exchanged on her personal account regularly contained information that was marked as SBU.” On June 28, 2011, a cable was sent to all diplomatic and consular posts over her signature warning that personal email accounts could be compromised and officials should “avoid conducting official Department business from your personal e-mail accounts.” At the time, Ms. Clinton was doing exactly that….
While not illegal behavior, it was disturbingly unmindful of the rules. In the middle of the presidential campaign, we urge the FBI to finish its own investigation soon, so all information about this troubling episode will be before the voters.
Clinton’s Email Deceptions
Editorial Board – Wall Street Journal
The Clinton campaign is resorting to its familiar strategy of calling this old news while saying everybody does it because Mr. Powell also failed to keep records of private email while he was in office. “GOP will attack HRC because she is running for President, but IG report makes clear her personal email use was not unique at State Dept,” tweeted Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. But Mr. Powell’s use of private email was limited, and he never set up an unsecure server in his home.All of this should bear on the FBI’s email probe and whether Mrs. Clinton understood the security risks she was running. On the IG’s extensive evidence, she clearly did—and then she lied about it. Voters should understand that this is precisely the kind of governance Mrs. Clinton would return to the White House.
Josh Marshall – Talking Points Memo
Like most Clinton scandals, if there there hadn’t been months, maybe more than a year of weird conspiracy theories, expected perp walks and general nonsense, one might read this and say, wow, that’s disappointing. But after all that, it’s just a big nothingburger. Like it almost always is.
Bernie Should Have Attacked Hillary’s “Damn Emails”
Jeet Herr – The New Republic
One of the most memorable moments of the Democratic primaries came during the first Democratic debate in October, when Bernie Sanders proclaimed his intent not to go after Hillary Clinton for using her personal email account for government business while she was secretary of state….
Part of the function of primaries is to vet and test candidates, to put them through the rigor of a preliminary run where all sorts of questions about their background, policies, and campaigning skills can be tested….The fact is, the “damn emails” haven’t gone away. Trump has promised to use the email scandal “bigly” against Clinton. By taking the high road early on this issue, Sanders may have spared Clinton in the short term, but he robbed her in the long run.
Hillary Clinton’s Email Problems Just Got Worse
Chris Cillizza – The Washington Post
There are two very important differences among Clinton, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, and former secretaries Powell and Condoleezza Rice when it comes to email practices.
The first is that Clinton is the first and, to date, only secretary of state to exclusively use a private email address and server to conduct her business as the nation’s top diplomat. All of the other names above maintained both a private and a government-issued email address.
Second, Clinton is the only one of that group who is currently (a) running for president and (b) the very likely nominee for one of the country’s two major parties.
Clinton has put her time at State at the center of her argument for why she should be elected the 45th president of the United States. Look at what I have done and judge me by it, she says. That has to include the bad as well as the good.