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. Historians will look back in awe at how the M$M Pro-Clinton propagandizing slanted public perception so much it even affected people with as much integrity as Mr. Turley.

    The evidence of criminality as of 6/1/16 is ironclad. FOIA? She broke the law. What the information she was hiding reveals could well result in RICO. Will hardcore Republican Comey risk being charged with a cover-up, why would he?

    But even more incredible: Almost no one mentions that CLINTON WAS BRIEFED before becoming Sec of State ON HANDLING THE TOP SECRET INTEL THAT IS ALWAYS PART OF THE JOB. All employees in these kinds of jobs are briefed AND PUT THEIR SIGNATURE ON A FORM ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR COMMITMENT TO THE RULES. Clinton trying to excuse herself citing (mostly lies) other criminal lapses in judgment is nonsense – SHE WAS THE LEADER, SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO SET THE EXAMPLE.

    Even more AMAZING. NO ONE MENTIONS HER BLACKBERRY. This is documented that it was a horrific security risk THAT SHE WAS WARNED ABOUT OVER AND OVER. She acknowledged it was a problem several times but kept using it.

    Maybe there’s hope, even the WSJ is suggesting the DNC will not risk Clinton as a candidate, this kind of risky candidate is the reason they created a system with Superdelegates.

  2. What does it say about voters who continue to support Hillary Clinton when she:
    1. Knowingly broke the law and used her own server for all State department communications, including top secret human intelligence, backed it up to the Cloud, gave people with no security clearance access to it, lied about it, wiped the server clean, and refused to turn over emails when subpoenaed and in response to FoIA?
    2. Said Benghazi was about a video when she knew it wasn’t true
    3. Said the families of the fallen were liars when they all agree she said it was about a video
    4. Denied requests for additional security for our ambassador in Libya, a hot site
    5. Couldn’t come up with a single accomplishment at State when interviewed
    6. Attacked the character of women who accused her husband of everything from sexual harassment to rape knowing he was a cheater
    7. Is under investigation for selling State favors through her Foundation which only gave a few % of its proceeds to actual charity
    8. Withheld evidence from Whitewater investigation in a file that when found only had her fingerprints and those of her secretary
    9. Has made hundreds of millions of dollars in politics and giving speeches to banks while claiming she was broke
    10. Illegally fired everyone in the WH Travel dept

    I could just go on and on. Being in the public eye has given ample opportunity to weigh her character.

  3. More Hillary closet junk:

    Deflect it. Attack Colin Powell & Condoleezza Rice while discussing Hillary’s emails.

    “I’m sorry. Hillary Clinton’s running for president. Colin Powell is not running for president,” Wallace said, interrupting the congressman. “The rules in 2004 were completely different. They’re complete different guidelines. The guidelines were repeatedly strengthened in 2005, 2006 and 2011. Hillary Clinton was operating in a different world. Can we please stay to the issue of what Hillary Clinton did or didn’t do and not talk about Colin Powell.

    This is a false argument. No other Secretary of State, including Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, used private email exclusively to conduct all government business and neither set up a private server inside their homes. Further, there is no proof either Powell or Rice shared classified, top secret information on a private email account.

    How did Hillary’s classified information jump from a secure, closed, government system to Clinton’s private server? We’ll get that answer if the FBI moves forward with an indictment.

  4. Why does she keep getting a pass from the media for lying?

    Also, Collin Powell did not use a private email server. He received a total of 2 emails from a staffer that were later deemed classified. He’s responsible for that and rather than deleting them and lying about them, he merely disputed their classification.

    He did not use personal email exclusively. He only used it to contact people outside of the department. He worked with State to secure it. And as is required gave State access and review upon his leaving.

    So years ago, before all the technological advances and the accompanying rules, Collin Powell actually did cooperate with the regulations requiring communications.

    Plus, you are to consider HC sent a memo to all her staff that they were prohibited by State from using personal email for State business. Based on that document alone she was well aware it was not allowed.

    The law must apply to everyone or no one. If she gets away with it, then I want to be permitted to take my phone and comment on the Turley blog whilst in restricted areas where such devices are banned. I will cite the Hillary precedent.

  5. But this is what the Clinton’s have done for years. They stonewall, they confuse the facts with lies on top of lies, and after so much time has gone by, they say they’ve answered everything ad nauseum and there’s nothing else to say. It works well for them.

  6. Tom, you conveniently skipped the part about her underlings being told not to raise the email issue after they complained. The reason this issue got so out of control was because Obama and Clinton apparently agreed that Obama would not nominate an Inspector General. (the temp IG was a Clinton crony with no power) The lack of oversight of some like Clinton is, well, a MAJOR OVERSIGHT.

    We’ll see what this in the tank Obama administration does about this inasmuch as the AG got her first US Atty. appointment from Bill Clinton.

    Btw, I’m a Democrat, but like so many Dems in this election I’m wondering what the hell we are going to do with this election mess. The two major parties have failed America badly.

    Anyway, Clinton should have been sent to jail when she stole the furniture out of the White House. But, you probably aren’t old enough to remember the shenanigans of the Clintons.

  7. Are we as a nation so ethically compromised and historically ignorant that we would feel the need to support a candidate such as Clinton? 300+ million people in this country and a large percentage of them will vote for an indicted national security threat or reality show host. WTF!!!

  8. Steve: Yes, Prof. Turley is putting in a yeoman’s effort to heap criticism on Clinton for her email misjudgment. And yes, the State Department could have and should have nixed the private server if it knew department policy was being violated or security compromised.

  9. Hillary is 99% certain that the Obama administration will never indict her. But just to cover herself on that 1% of uncertainty, her people are raising the “Colin did it too defense,” because they know with 110% certainty that Barack and Loretta are never going to indict brother Colin.

  10. the fact that she along with all her predecessors are war criminals only demonstrates how low our standards are as a nation and probably as a species.

    we’d fair so much better if we could just leave each other alone.

    the older I get the more I understand why people move to Alaska

  11. Tom @10:44:

    Ever try to forbid your boss? Good way to be put in charge of the embassy motor pool in Outer Mongolia.

    Lots of libs seem to be ignorant of the implications of electing a crook; Prof Turley is doing a yeoman’s job of educating the stupid and the ignorant.

  12. From the Cheryl Mills deposition we have learned that she used the same server that had already been in place for her husband and the Clinton Foundation. Mills’ lawyer was working hard at making sure that she did not divulge any information, but that little tidbit popped up.

  13. Knowing that Hillary is a crook, half of Americans still support her. Says a lot about the libs.

    From yesterday’s Rasmussen poll:

    “Most continue to believe likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is a lawbreaker, but half of all voters also say a felony indictment shouldn’t stop her campaign for the presidency.”

  14. 1. Colin Powell never used his personal email to email classified or high security state department information.
    2. Colin Powell never had his own server.
    3. Colin Powell never had his own server without the permission or knowledge of the state department.
    4. Hillary Clinton is or was an attorney and should know ignorance is no excuse to knowing the law. She had a two hour meeting with state department officials on this subject when she started.

    Again, another excuse and blaming someone else, for her own inability to take responsibility for her own actions.

    Same ole same ole by a sniveling serial liar named Hillary Clinton. Democrats know this and Debbie Wasserman Shultz know this and yet they still support her. It’s either support a serial liar or an old man who is a socialist. I wouldn’t be proud to call myself a Democrat right now.

  15. You seem to avoid the idea that the people’s government, paid for by the people, supposed to serve the people, must be kept secret from the people. When secrecy becomes more important than openness and transparency, the government no longer serves the public.

  16. If she knew of Colin’s misuse of personal servers for gov biz she should have reported him and he now should be investigated and any claims that this was not with specific intent to hide from records requests her emails is a joke. Hey, Bernie turned over his tax returns and I thought they agreed she would turn over her speaking transcripts from Goldman where it is presumed she talked about protecting them from the wrath of the “Useless Feeders,” the common folks they have robbed and destroyed to strut like Princess in a democracy that hates such titles. The Clinton’s have stained, in more than one way, the White House once already and Hillary’s stench now fills the air from her stint as Sec D and this is what Democrats want or is it what Goldman/Rockafella want of her, remember she was and is a Republican, head of young Repubs in college and only switching with Nixon’s demise. Her voting records reads all Repub and she just married her daughter to a former Goldman Banker who is responsible for bankrupting nations using nuclear derivatives to destroy economies, including our own. Her lead is a farce, the elections are rigged, 99% of the people want Bernie, so stay focused on transgender bathrooms and other fodder while the country 1% anoint Hillary for another 8 years of 1% destroying 99%.

  17. There is never going to be an adequate explanation for this mistake in judgment that the State Department could have avoided by simply telling her not to use a private account for department business. Having said that, how many posts can you devote to this worn out subject? Suspect that you will find a way to keep beating this drum for whatever it’s worth.

  18. And yet the media will deflect for her, lie for her, and generally kiss her fat a**. Why? This woman is the odds on favorite to be the next president. Is this the best candidate the Democratic Party can produce? The Democratic Party has better people than this but the Establishment has moved heaven and earth to get her nominated.

    The United States deserves better.

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