Clinton Offers New Explanation For Email Scandal

Hillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziI was on NPR yesterday on the Diane Rehm Show to discuss the Clinton email scandal. Appearing on the show was Brian Fallon, spokesperson for Hillary Clinton, who offered a new and rather implausible spin on the worsening scandal. Fallon said that Clinton was relying on her knowledge that Colin Powell used a personal email account as the reason that she thought her server was approved.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAcfAAAAJDIxZmEyYTY4LTgxYTUtNGJlZi1hNzgzLTJhYWJmYTQzOTkxNQHere is what Fallon said in response to questions from Rehm:

I think that, as she has sought to explain in the multitude of interviews she’s done in the last few days since the report has come out, there was — and this is backed up in the IG report — one of her predecessors, Secretary Powell, had used personal email exclusively.And so she felt that in setting up her arrangement, that since his was approved, that hers was similar enough that it would be approved, too.

As I noted at the time, this is a new explanation. After the report said uncategorically that Clinton never asked for approval and would never have received approval for her unsecure personal server, she has switched from claiming that her server was “allowed” to she “believed it was allowed.”

First, this does not square with repeated concerns raised by security staff that were dismissed by Clinton aides. Second, it does not square with policies signed by Clinton herself telling people not to use personal email for State Department business. Finally, it does not square with the fact that Clinton resisted accepting a secure cellphone and was repeatedly seen using her Blackberry on the seventh floor of the State Department, a secure area (a major breach of security).

However, the biggest problem is that the new spin suggested that Clinton knew that Powell had used personal email years before her tenure. That seems highly dubious. Indeed, Clinton only started discussing the Powell emails after a disclosure from the State department that it found two classified emails had been sent by Powell (emails retroactively identified as classified). Now the campaign is claiming that Clinton knew the details of Powell’s email system (in the early days of email use) and was relying on that knowledge.

Of course, this is precisely the type of new information that the State Department was seeking in its investigation. Clinton repeatedly assured the public that “I’m more than ready to talk to anybody, any time. I’m happy to answer any questions that anybody might have. Any time you want to talk to me, here I am.” That was untrue, as we now know. What is most striking is that the State Department was trying to get to the bottom of a potentially serious national security breach. Yet, Clinton has refused (and her top aides refused) to answer questions.

Fallon address this in our discussion with an equally implausible spin: ” our campaign feels that this issue has been well litigated and fully aired in the press over the last year so that there’s probably no such thing at this point, as a low information voter, when it comes to factoring in her email use.” Yet, Clinton has been refusing to discuss the email beyond the same few lines insisting that it was approved and allowed by the State Department — which is now known to be untrue. She further insisted that she would answer all questions by investigators, which is also untrue. The State Department was trying to find out the scope of the breach of security and the violation of procedures — questions needed to safeguard national security. Clinton refused to help them. Thus, this suggestion that she relied on her knowledge of the email system used by Powell was never given to the State Department and never subjected to scrutiny.

Hilllary_Rosen_testifies_on_NapsterThe interview also featured media consultant and Clinton supporter Hillary Rosen who offered a rather odd justification that Clinton cannot be faulted for failing to comply with federal rules and Department guideline due to such countervailing priorities as wedding planning:

“It’s a pain to go through and change everything over. And I think, from her perspective, she was planning a wedding and she was going through, you know, family issues and the like. And she thought, well, why am I going to subject all of that to State Department scrutiny? I’m just going to send everything that’s important to my staff and it will be archived that way.”

As you might image, wedding planning is not a recognized exception to either classification rules or the Federal Records Act.

In another rather curious moment, Rosen insisted that “I do not think that she has a trust problem that has dogged her.” When I noted that Clinton has record lows for trustworthiness, I was asked to give examples of where she has changed her position. I noted her change on same-sex marriage and trade deals. The response from Rosen was outrage: “Because I’m a lesbian and how dare you.” What is odd is that Rosen then immediately recognized that Clinton had changed her position but insisted “You know, if every politician who took a position 20 years ago stuck with that position, we would not have any equality today.” Of course, many of us long supported same-sex marriage when politicians like Clinton insisted that such marriages could not be allowed on moral grounds. (Indeed, Clinton herself acknowledged that she took too long to change her position . . . at least in a comedy sketch).  However, it appears that even mentioning that Clinton changed her position is now deemed as offensive.

None of this means that Clinton should be or will be criminally charged — or her aides charged. However, what is clear (in my view) is that her past statements were demonstrably untrue. Moreover, her refusal to cooperate with the State Department investigation placed political and personal interests over the interests of national security. These are questions that need to be fully answered and should have been answered without delay. Yet, the Clinton campaign continues to spin the facts and create new layers of implausible defenses.

61 thoughts on “Clinton Offers New Explanation For Email Scandal”

  1. Fisherwife, the scales of justice are bait for the little fish only. All the big fish swim in a completely different “pond”.

    But, yeah, tell it to the “Selfie Sailor”….

  2. No matter what the excuse. Destroyed thousands of emails is a violation of 18 USC 1519. Carries 20 years. Destruction of records, documents or tangible items in a federal investigation. See Yates v US S. Ct. ruling 02/25/15, Case #13-7451. My husband gets charged with this law for 3 missing fish, yet she can destroy thousands of records. Where is that indictment?

  3. It is a given that employees of the State Department use private emails. The President who is the boss did not issue an order to use government servers. It is the President’s responsibility to watch over his administration. Apparently NO president has issued an order to use only government servers for State Department e-mails.
    This is a non issue when more serious issues face us. Donald Trump uses Twitter to blast everyone. He is the problem and he has no control over himself so what do you think his employees would do after he goes out of control and blasts some world leader? In comparison the issues brought up about Hillary are child’s play and just more fodder for the ‘I do not like Hillary crowd.’ Get on the real issues and stop beating a dead horse.

    1. Don Soeken – it is NOT a given that employees of the State Dept use private emails for work product. Only Hillary and a select few had private emails through the Clinton Foundation server. It is nice to see that Hillary is helping the job market by hiring trolls. I am sure you hit all of today’s bullet points.

  4. “Put Trump side by side with Clinton and she comes off like a choir girl.”

    Lmao! 😂😂😂😂
    Donald J. Trump had nothing to do with any of this, but your Hillary Clinton choir girl did. . . .

    Trump did not steal your money.

    Trump did not raise your taxes.

    Trump did not quadruple the price of food.

    Trump is not stirring a race war.

    Trump did not leave any US soldiers in Benghazi to be slaughtered and desecrated by Muslims.

    Trump did not send the US Navy to fight for Syrian Al-Qaeda.

    Trump did not arm ISIS and systematically exterminate Christians throughout the Middle East.

    Trump did not betray Israel.

    Trump did not provide financing and technology to Irans nuclear weapons program.

    Trump did not give our military secrets to China.

    Trump did not remove our nuclear missile shield in Poland at the behest of Russia.

    Trump did not shrivel our military, and betray our veterans.
    Trump did not cripple our economy.

    Trump did not increase our debt to 20 trillion dollars.
    Trump did not ruin our credit, twice.

    Trump did not double African American unemployment.

    Trump did not increase welfare to a record level for eight years.

    Trump did not sign a law making it legal to execute, and imprison Americans.

    Trump did not set free all of terrorists in Guantanamo bay!!!

    Democrats are demented at times, especially when it comes to Hillary. Murder rates in liberal cities are at a all time high. This is Obamanation and electing another democrat, will only continue this trend, except they’ll take guns from lawful citizens.

  5. I see Correct The Record’s minions have been active here. Is this another indication that Professor Turley’s blog has reached escape velocity?

  6. Her statement that others had their own personal email accounts while on official business is analogous to “Other’s robbed banks so I thought I could too.”

  7. There is nothing to prosecute. Feel free to vote against her if you think this is an important issue. Some of us will focus on her public policy positions and those of her opponent.

  8. She’s coming after Trump for fraud on his university but she’s taking the moral high ground on her e-mail server? It’s unbelievable how disingenuous she is and people are buying it. It’s sad to think voting for Trump is the better option, but it is.

  9. Karen, The MSM doesn’t “fall for it.” They are in the tank for Hillary. Last year when Powell explained he was obviously perturbed. You know he’s livid now.

  10. Nick – plus State had access to his emails, he worked with them to review them, the personal email was only for people outside of the department, AND in his exit interview he gave all personal and business communication to State to review.

    The whole “Colin did it” line is so blatantly dishonest, I cannot understand why anyone falls for it, let alone journalists.

  11. If you want to avoid having every one of your government emails subject to the FOIA then don’t use the government servers, which are secure, legal, and properly hardened to all but the most sophisticated hackers. If you are running a RICO scam with your husband and your family’s alleged charity, then avoid the government servers. Or, if you believe the far right wing nutcases, then Hillary didn’t want anyone to have access to her love letters to Hillary Rosen. 😉 Essentially, this is about an attempt to avoid public disclosure of Hillary Clinton’s public correspondence as SOS. Along the way, she personally authored at least half a dozen secret/top secret emails, which emails were born classified, and she sent them from her personal, unprotected server. In addition, she received numerous emails from her staff and others on her personal server, including emails that discussed CIA covers, CIA operations, and foreign intelligence. Many of those emails contained classified information. Hillary’s excuse, among many of her excuses was that she did not send or receive any classified emails. On it’s face, that is a bald faced lie. The SOS cannot be SOS without having access to information classified at many levels. Furthermore, the markings on emails do not make the emails classified. Content controls classification. When she was given her clearance and on the first day as SOS she signed an agreement to abide by the national security laws. Since she is a Yale Law School graduate, we may fairly assume she understood the material she was signing. She breached that agreement on many, many occasions. Those breaches may have put her in jeopardy of being prosecuted under various Title 18 codes.

    A substantial explication of this scandal may be found here:

    If she is not prosecuted I will be very disappointed in our legal system.

  12. I am far from being an expert on this issue. I have no idea if what HRC did deserves jail or not.

    My question, for anyone familiar with this case, is simple: why didn’t she hire someone to set up a private server for her private emails, and use the State Department’s system for official emails?

    This is too simple a question, I know. I am late to the game. Surely there is a reasonable answer to this basic question?

  13. ” We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition.”
    “All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.”
    “Eminent domain, civil asset forfeiture, governmental limits on profits, governmental production mandates, and governmental controls on prices of goods and services (including wages, rents, and interest) are abridgements of such fundamental rights. For voluntary dealings among private entities, parties should be free to choose with whom they trade and set whatever trade terms are mutually agreeable.”
    “Governments, unlike private businesses, are unaccountable for such damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. We realize that our planet’s climate is constantly changing, but environmental advocates and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behavior.”

    Ad nauseam. Overly simplistic adolescent sophistry. Individual totalitarianism at the expense of legitimate social goals, such as cleaning up the environment, aiding the sick, poor, and aged.

    Hillary would have made a GRATE Libertarian. 😉 She decided selfishness was so much better as a personal philosophy.

    Just my humble opinion.

  14. wrinkledironman: Libertarians believe in a live and let live philosophy, the key principle of which is non-aggression. This is basically the American founders philosophy expressed in the Declaration of Independence. The US has never lived up to this creed (slavery, etc.), but during the period we came closest (late 19th through early 20th century) we had peace for the most part and prosperity that was the envy of the world. There are no perfect worlds, but we produced enough economic growth to absorb tens of millions of the world’s working poor who viewed us as the promised land.

    Why is this scarry?

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