The Post’s Clintonesque “Technical” Truth: The Truth About Hillary’s Email Depends on What the Meaning of “Were” Was

Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post looked at the claim of Hillary Clinton on Twitter this week that “the fact is that I had zero emails that were classified.” The Post declared Clinton “technically correct” in the claim, which left out that she was substantively wrong. While the Post elects not to award any “Pinocchios,” Clinton’s statement is clearly false and even the Post appears to recognize that fact at the very end of its analysis.  Indeed, “technical” truth is wonderfully Clintonesque — captured in Bill’s infamous defense during the Monica Lewinsky investigation that “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” The email scandal now depends on what the meaning of “were” was.  Hillary Clinton is focusing on whether the emails were marked classified as opposed to whether they contained classified information.

I previously wrote about Hillary’s claim and argued that it was demonstrably false. While I focused on her claim that there is an unfair “Clinton standard” that applies to her, I noted how Clinton is making a signature technical claim regarding classified markings rather than classified content.The tortured logic is transparently and knowingly misleading.

As I have stated previously, I do not believe that the email scandal warranted criminal charges and certainly did not justify the “lock her up” mantra used in the 2016 presidential campaign. However, Clinton is now rewriting history with the help of many in the media who simultaneously pushed this line that the email scandal was a type of conservative hoax. It was not.

The Post’s analysis is not part of that trivialization of the scandal. However, it contained critical errors in how the analysis was framed.

Kessler’s analysis largely follows the false framing of Hillary’s tweet: whether emails were actually marked classified. Even on that point, Hillary is wrong. There were emails with “confidential” classifications. Admittedly, that is the lowest level of classification and there was a controversy on whether those markings should have been removed. Kessler spends considerable time chasing that rabbit down the hole in the Clinton tweet when there is a virtual chasm next to it. The focus of the tweet and the Post analysis was not the focus of the investigation.

Hillary elected to use an unsecured personal server despite the strong policy against such systems for the discussion of State Department business. The reason is obvious. The servers are more easily penetrated by foreign intelligence and, according to the FBI, “hostile actors gained access” to some of the information through the emails of Clinton’s associates and aides.

Emails are a particular concern for security experts because they rarely have classification markings. Officials engage in contemporary and rapid exchanges that can reveal classified information. People often try to “talk around” such classified facts, but they can easily compromise sensitive programs or information. That is precisely the reason why they are told to use only secured servers and government email systems.

In Clinton emails, the inspector general noted this very same pattern where aides showed a “conscious effort to avoid sending classified information, by writing around the most sensitive material.” It did not work. A 2018 report of Department of Justice inspector general revealed that “81 email chains containing approximately 193 individual emails” were “classified from the CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET levels at the time.”

There was never an allegation that Clinton or her aides intended to reveal classified information, but rather than they conveyed classified information while using the private server.

What the private server allowed was control by the Clintons. That control would later prove key when Clinton delayed full disclosure to federal officials and ultimately deleted thousands of emails.

While endlessly detailing the classification markings of three emails, Kessler does note that “sometimes classified information seeped into email exchanges.” That is the point. It is not the markings but the content of the emails that compromised national security information.

It is only at the very end, that the Post again acknowledges this point in affirming a “technical” truth in favor of Clinton:

“Clinton, in her tweet, suggests none of her emails were marked classified. That’s technically correct. Whether those emails contained classified information was a major focus of the investigation, but a review of the recent investigations, including new information obtained by the Fact Checker, shows Clinton has good reason for making a distinction with Trump.”

Unpack this line. The column admits that it was not the markings but the content that was a “major focus of the investigation,” but then declared Clinton “technically correct.”

The use of a strawman argument is classic Clinton, but it looks silly when adopted by a serious journalist. Take the conclusion that this is different from the Trump allegation of holding classified information at Mar-a-Lago. Of course, it is different. While Trump insists that as a president he was allowed to remove the documents and that he declassified them, that claim remains unestablished. However, these were clearly marked classified documents, including some at extremely high levels of classification.

Yet, there is one aspect that is more analogous and entirely omitted from the Post analysis. The most likely charge against Trump is obstruction in failing to turn over the material after a formal subpoena. Again, while there are obvious differences, Clinton and her staff were also accused of withholding material and delaying such disclosures

The State Department investigators worked furiously to determine the extent of any compromising of classified information in these emails by Clinton or her staff, including the possession of classified information on various laptops. Clinton and her staff did not fully cooperate with investigators in refusing to turn over her emails and other evidence. They delayed such efforts to estimate any national-security damage. Ultimately, the FBI cut deals with her aides to secure their cooperation. Later , additional classified material was found on the laptop of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who was married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin — 49,000 emails potentially relevant to the Clinton investigation.

Moreover, the thousands of emails cited by Hillary do not include thousands destroyed by her staff. In 2014, Clinton and her staff were aware that these emails were being sought by both congressional and federal investigators. However, they used BleachBit to wipe out thousands of emails and then told investigators that they made the unilateral decision that such emails were “personal.”

The Clintons have long thrived in the gray area between “technical” and actual truth from Hillary’s claim to being “dead broke” after leaving the White House to Bill Clinton parsing of the word “is.” Yet, that ability to shape truth to their immediate needs is only possible with assistance of an endlessly enabling media.

A slightly difference version of this column ran on

213 thoughts on “The Post’s Clintonesque “Technical” Truth: The Truth About Hillary’s Email Depends on What the Meaning of “Were” Was”

  1. I don’t have any trouble viewing Hillary Clinton as inept and dishonest as Donald Trump. She is an equally sore loser and, like Trump, cares more about herself than the country.

    Her only real job at the Rose Law Firm was courtesy of her gubernatorial husband — where she did incredibly under average work. Trump doesn’t run his so-called businesses any better. He won’t release his tax returns because they show the only thing he made money at is that silly game show of his.

    Neiter one of them, to this day, admits they legitimately lost their elections which they both did. They were not what the country needed at this time. But perhaps they are a product of it.

  2. By deleting thousands of her emails, while under investigation, wiping her server clean with Bleach Bit, destroying her Blackberries and laptops with hammers, and then lying about the existence of the server, her wiping it with Bleach Bit, as well as the classified content of her emails, Hillary Clinton gave herself the final word on what communications she would allow State to obtain.

    She didn’t make her argument through legal channels, and then turn over emails for State to decide what’s personal and what’s relevant to both State and the investigation. She unilaterally deleted what she did not want them to have. However, she did permit convicted sex offender Anthony Weiner to have that information, through Huma Abedin’s laptop.

    It would be like Trump shredding any documents he didn’t want the National Archives or the DOJ to have, and then burning the pieces. Then the FBI would shrug its shoulders and say no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.

  3. OT: Every once in a while Biden is correct on an important issue. I am in total agreement with him on this one. Everyone should listen to this short video.

  4. A joke circulating among lawyers, in light of the appearance that two Trump lawyers — Christina Bobb and Evan Corcoran — are now witnesses who may themselves have need of attorneys: MAGA actually stands for “making attorneys get attorneys.”

    1. Indeed, the NYT reported that Bobb has retained an attorney. And several of Trump’s previous lawyers have also done so: Cohen, Giuliani, Eastman, …

      1. ATS writes: “Indeed, the NYT reported that Bobb has retained an attorney. And several of Trump’s previous lawyers have also done so: Cohen, Giuliani, Eastman, “

        In another case, the government sued Howard Root. Many, if not all his employees, had to hire attornies. The company won, yet still had to cover immense costs.

        What you are telling us is that government and prosecutors can be abusive. Thank you for admitting the abuses of government and the left.

        1. Thank you for again demonstrating that you’re happy to lie about what someone said because you regularly lose honest arguments, and you’re such an intellectual wimp that you’d rather pretend to win than honestly lose.

          1. “Thank you for again demonstrating that you’re happy to lie about what someone said because you regularly lose honest arguments, and you’re such an intellectual wimp that you’d rather pretend to win than honestly lose.”

            I wonder what was a lie? Here is what was said: In another case, the government sued Howard Root. Many, if not all his employees, had to hire attornies. The company won, yet still had to cover immense costs. What you are telling us is that government and prosecutors can be abusive. Thank you for admitting the abuses of government and the left.

            What did I say that is wrong? Nothing, but your only ability is in insult and lying

      2. As should everyone in DOJ and FBI

        there is lots of trouble brewing over all of this.

        Regardless, turn about is fair play.

        It has now been confirmed by the Kushner book that Trump conveyed to Hillary through Ivanka and Chelsea shortly after the election that he would not continue the investigation into her conduct.

        Democrats do not have the same morality as the rest of us. And are perfectly willing to weaponize politics.

        This does not end well for democrats or the country.

        Pretty much anything those on the left accuse anyone of – they are doing.


    2. What we have evidence of is the extent to which democrats will weaponize all government powers for political purposes.

      That Biden can talk of semi-fascist is laughable.

      Whose administration tried to create a ministry of truth ?
      Whose administration has raided more than 50 of the ranking members of the prior administration and opposition political party ?
      Whose administration has targeted families for advocating for the education of their kids ?
      Whose administartion is demanding that social media silence its critics ?

      I do not know the courts will rule on much of this.

      But democrats should consider that “turnabout is fair play”

      Those celebrating Carter Page’s loss or Trump’s recent loss should consider where they will be when it is a republican administration illegally investigating them ?

  5. I think there were questions in an earlier response about Biden’s involvement in the raid which itself creates a lot of legal questions. [requested by the incumbent president.] Special Master Order

    page 2-3 The White House Counsel’s Office granted the request [ECF No. 48-1 p. 7]. On May 10, 2022, NARA informed Plaintiff that it would proceed
    with “provid[ing] the FBI access to the records in question, as requested by the incumbent President, beginning as early as Thursday, May 12, 2022” [ECF No. 48-1 p. 9].

    1. It is probable that the current president can not provide FBI/DOJ access to prior presidents records without going to court to do so.

      The left likes to cite the cases in which it has – but fails to note those do not say that the current admin can do whatever it wants.

      They all say that in Case XXX the governments need for something outweights the ex-presidents rights.

      Which essentially says – DOJ/FBI can get whatever they want of Trump’s – THROUGH A COURT, not by the current president.

      Even the PRA provides no role for the current president in ex presidents records.

      I would note that this also addresses many of the questions we are fighting about.

      What is a personal record and who get to decide.

      If as those on the left claim – this is all presidential records and the PRA grants ownership to NARA than Constitution A2S1 applies and these records belong to the Current president.

      That is arguable, but it runs against absolutely every existing case. Current executives have the ability through courts to gain access, but by default control rests with ex-presidents.

      The PRA itself makes no sense in numerous provisions if the government – and therefore the current executive owns the records.

      As a rule we ACTIVELY seek to thwart exactly what Biden is trying to do and which Trump talked about but never actually did.

      We do not want current administrations prying in to prior administrations.

      We forget that the WH in particular is unique. Mostly the Hatch Act does not apply.
      The president is not merely the head of the country, he is also the political head of his party.
      Alot of what occurs in the WH is political not executive, While there are rules regarding that.
      Unlike congressmen who must leave government property to engage in politics, the president does not.
      Nor does SOME of his staff.

      A significant portion of presidential records are political records – not government records.

      We are not going to allow the incoming executive to pry into the political actions of the prior administration.

    2. There was a story going arround for sometime regarding Ivanka’s relationship with Chelsea Clinton – they were friends.
      That Trump had told Hillary through Ivanka/Chelsea shortly after the election that he had no intention of going after Hillary.

      We again forget that the Clinton’s as a whole were friendly with Trumps before the election.

      Aparently Jared Kushner has confirmed this in he recent book.

      This is interesting – because regardless of lock her up rants, and regardless of clear evidence regarding Hillary.
      Trump left her alone.

      Democrats like Biden and his administration do not have the same moral and ethical standards.

      We are creating new norms.

      democrats are creating new norms.

      These are not going away.

  6. Prof. Turley is too kind to HRC and too harsh on DJT on the issue of obstruction of justice. HRC engaged in the most blatant obstruction possible: the destruction of potentially inculpatory things and devices, sought by the FBI and Congressional committees. She walked, with a grin on her face. Meanwhile, many commentators here insist that Trump was guilty of obstruction and Prof. Turley does not reject the idea. The motion filed by Trump in federal court relates his co-operation with the Archivist and the FBI: “After President Trump and his family settled back into their home, employees at the National Archives and Records Administration inquired as to whether any documents were inadvertently transferred by the movers to Mar-a-Lago. In January 2022, Movant voluntarily asked NARA movers to come to Mar-a-Lago to receive 15 boxes of documents (’15 Boxes”) that had been brought by movers to Mar-a-Lago, so that they could be transferred to NARA headquarters in Washington, DC. On February 8, 2022, NARA made the following public statement: ‘Throughout the course of the last year, NARA obtained the cooperation of Trump representatives to locate Presidential records that had not been transferred to the National Archives at the end of the Trump administration. When a representative informed NARA in December 2021 that they had located some records, NARA arranged for them to be securely transported to Washington.’ . . . Sometime thereafter, NARA employees involved the White House and DOJ in the matter of the voluntarily returned 15 NARA Boxes. . . . On June 2, 2022,PresidentTrump,through counsel, invited the FBI to come to Mar-a- Lago to retrieve responsive documents. The next day, on Jtme3,2022, Jay Bratt, Chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section in the DOJ’s National Security Division, came to Mar-a-Lago, accompanied by three FBl agents. . . . Responsive documents were provided to the FBI agents. Mr. Bratt asked to inspect a storage room. Counsel for President Trump advised the group that President Trump had authorized him to take the group to that room. The group proceeded to the storage room, escorted by two Secret Service agents. The storage room contained boxes, many containing the clothing and personal items of President Trump and the First Lady. When the inspection was completed, the group left the area. . . . On June 8,2022, Mr. Bratt wrote to counsel for President Trump. HIs letter requested . . . that the storage room be secured. ln response, President Trump directed his staff to place a second lock on the door to the storage room ,and one was added. In the days that followed, President Trump and his staff continued to assist the Government. For instance, members of his personal and household staff were made available for voluntary interviews by the FBI. On June22, 2022, the Government sent a subpoena to the Custodian of Records for the Trump Organization seeking footage from surveillance cameras at Mar-a-Lago. At President Trump’s direction, . . . responsive video footage was provided to the Government.”

    1. “It may seem strange to you here, especially the many of you who lost members of your family, but all over the world there were people like me sitting in offices, day after day after day, who did not fully appreciate the depth and the speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror.” THAT LYING PIG



  7. “The same old blah, blah, blah, blah, blah from Allan-S. Meyer.”

    The PRA left things murky. That can be good or bad, but it permits people to argue on all sides. That means it belongs in civil court and nowhere else. ATS can make arguments, prosecutors can indict, and we can stay on this merry-go-round forever or until the courts adjudicate the situation. In the end, based on what we know, there was no criminal act.

    What ATS is doing is pretending. If A, then B, but he cannot prove A exists. It will happen or not in the civil court system.

    ATS is radical, or at least his thinking is. His game is to obscure facts like he generally does, and when things are worked out and forgotten about, he never has to pay for his errors. We have seen that with almost every significant issue involving Trump. He should be ignored. That will not happen, so we debate, pass insults back and forth, etc., in a meaningless fashion that, at the very best, exercises our brains.

    Some might think he adds something tangible, but generally, he adds nothing except hate and discontent. That is his desire.

    1. The Presidential Records Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22) is unconstitutional as were Roe v Wade, Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, and the entire welfare state.

      The Supreme Court and judicial branch constitute a dastardly, jurisprudential army, afraid to engage its ferocious communist (liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat, RINO) enemy and bring the might of the Constitution and Bill of Rights to bear per the duty of their sworn oaths, as did Chief Justice Taney.

      “The clause in the Constitution which authorizes the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is in the ninth section of the first article. This article is devoted to the Legislative Department of the United States, and has not the slightest reference to the Executive Department.”

      “I can see no ground whatever for supposing that the President in any emergency or in any state of things can authorize the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or arrest a citizen except in aid of the judicial power.”

      “I have exercised all the power which the Constitution and laws confer on me, but that power has been resisted by a force too strong for me to overcome.”

      – Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, May 28, 1861

      1. George, Since you think the Presidential Records Act is unconstitutional, just wondering if you also think that the Federal Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act are both unconstitutional? Thanks.

        1. “George, Since you think the Presidential Records Act is unconstitutional,”

          You have to look at the acts and see if they delegate POWER , and if so to who? The President is “The King” of the Executive Branch. His power is unassailable. Does the PRA delegate power to an office or person, that supersedes the President? Does the PRA over rule the Presidents decision on what is, or is not, a “Presidential Record”? Does the PRA spell out the process to successfully strip the President of his Constitutional, enumerated Powers?

          Find the answers in the PRA and you reach the truth

            1. ATS, the Constitution supersedes any laws passed even when the laws are signed by the President. You should know that because laws passed have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. How many more falsehoods are you going to present to the blog?

                1. I commented on your generalization, not the specific actions discussed in this segment.

                  My comment stands. A President’s agreement doesn’t make a law Constitutional.

                  If the discussion deals with what the law says, you are wrong again.


    “It’s the [executive branch], stupid!”

    – James Carville

    Classification, declassification, retention and archiving of materials is a power of the executive branch.

    Classification, declassification, retention and archiving of materials is NOT a power of the legislative branch.

    The three branches of government are separate but equal.

    The legislative branch has no power to legislate to enhance or diminish the powers of the legislative branch, or to legislate to enhance or diminish the powers of the executive branch.

    Legislation by the legislative branch regarding the power of the executive branch is unconstitutional.

    Congress may attempt to ratify an amendment to transfer some or all of the executive power to the legislative branch.

    Congress may attempt to impeach and convict President Trump for treason.

    The judicial branch, including the Supreme Court, must immediately exercise its power of Judicial Review and find for the Constitution which provides the executive power solely to the executive branch as a separate but equal entity.

    The judicial branch, including the Supreme Court, must immediately exercise its power of Judicial Review and find for the Constitution, pervasively and comprehensively and throughout American history, as it acted retroactively to strike down the grossly unconstitutional Roe v Wade, 1973, which falsely claimed a right to abortion in the Constitution which clearly does not exist.

    1. The article is pretty good, but there are several errors.

      Whole blocks of text from classified and highly classified documents were copied verbatim in her emails.

      This is not talking arround classified information.
      We do not know beyond any doubt how exact transcriptions of classified documents ended up in here emails.
      But it is unlikely to have occured because she or staff was trying to talk about a classified subject without actually doing so.

      Most likely classified information was secreted from the DOS SCIF – via USB stick, Via screeshot, or via hand copying text.
      Regardless, that is not even close to innocent.

      1. @John B Say,

        Actually we do.
        During the investigation, there were emails recovered where she instructed staff to cut n paste because they raised the issue over classification.

        Its little details like that , which get lost over time.

        BTW, that also shows intent… cough cough Comey…


        1. Actually we do.
          During the investigation, there were emails recovered where she instructed staff to cut n paste because they raised the issue over classification.

          Yes Classification was a problem for the SoS. She needed the info on the secure system.

          The secure system, is an air gaped Computer system. you go to a secure building, on a secure floor, into a secure floor, to work on a secure terminal. But you can’t e mail from the terminal.
          Communications between Clinton and her staff, show Clinton directed her staff to do what ever it took to get information out of that system, so she could email to who ever she wanted.

        2. I forgot those emails – do you have links.
          With Clinton we also have the destruction of cell phones, black berries etc.

          Comey was a bad actor at the FBI for a long long time – way before Clinton.
          Nor was Mueller much better.

          There is an excellent Reason article right now on the bad history of the FBI trying to manufacture and frame domestic terrorists.
          Whether it was teens in mosques post 9/11 that could be induced to do stupid things or millitias and others in the 90’s.

          The FBI has been a bad actor for a long long time.

          They do a good job of finding unsympathetic people to target and setup. Then they make them into a threat they are not, and go to war with them, to make it look like they are performing a valueable job.

          I am NOT with those on the right – the FBI serves no useful purpose.
          Further the Federal governments involvement with law enforcement – even locally has been hugely net negative.

  9. Biden’s 11 or 12% support among all Americans really shows in the 1st few minutes of this video.

    So Enough of the Bull Sheet Biden has 38 or 39% of support. Those numbers are just to prime Gullibles to except all the Dims/Rinos/Govt Media’s Voting System Fraud again.

    Below video is short.


    Trump Kicks Biden’s A$$ with Ilan Srulovicz | Flyover Conservatives

    Sep 10, 2022

  10. Biden’s Gestapo targeting and raiding homes of political enemies…

    “Dozens of Donald Trump allies had their homes raided by the Biden administration’s FBI yesterday, according to former senior Trump adviser Steve Bannon. The allegation comes amid increasingly aggressive rhetoric from Biden framing “MAGA Republicans” as “threats” to the “foundations” of the country.

    Speaking to Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk on Real America’s Voice, Bannon said Friday that “thirty-five senior members, MAGA Republicans, supporters of Donald Trump,” were subjected to FBI raids on their homes the previous day.”
    “In a Friday tweet responding to Bannon’s bombshell allegation, Liberty Center founder Harmeet Dhillon stated that “this happened to many Trump allies I know as well.”

    Dhillon gave a fuller confirmation during a Friday night interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, in which she stated that as many as 50 search warrants or subpoenas were issued for Trump supporters.

    According to Dhillon, the subpoenas were “extremely broad” and requested all communications ranging from a month prior to two months after the 2020 election…..”


        Duke case subpoenas cross line, defense says, Aaron Beard Associated Press

        Durham | Attorneys for the lacrosse players who haven’t been charged in the Duke University rape investigation say subpoenas seeking the athletes’ school records represent an invasion of privacy. The attorneys are expected to fight the prosecution subpoenas today, the same day that attorneys for the three teammates charged with raping an exotic dancer at a party in March are scheduled for another pretrial hearing. District Attorney Mike Nifong is attempting to gain access to Duke records of the home addresses of uncharged team members and records of their use of student identity cards, the subpoenas show. The ID cards can be used to purchase items and gain access to campus buildings. The players’ attorneys argue the information is protected by federal privacy laws. Bob Ekstrand, who represents 33 of the team’s 46 players, said Nifong provided no reason why he needs the information. “It’s not like there’s a great concern there’s something in here apart from the serious privacy issue for these individuals and the rest of the Duke community,” he said. A motion filed by attorney Bill Thomas on behalf of graduated Duke player Bret Thompson also says the May 31 subpoenas are flawed. “The subpoenas were issued erroneously as they are not supported by an affidavit providing legal justification” for obtaining the information, Thomas said in the motion.

  11. I forwarded this Washington Post article to JT so I apologize if that was the cause for him to further analyze Hillary’s recent comments about her emails. By mostly sticking to the emails issue, I thought this JT post was more fair than yesterday’s that in my opinion seemed too personal and political (see last night’s comment for more detail).

  12. Oh: how life sometime imitates Art. Today we could reference Orwell and his writing about Socialism and his warnings, or Kafka’s tale of a Trial, or venture back to Shakespeare’s “Richard III” and his desires to control and dominate others. Are these similarities to our present time? In Orwell’s 1984: the State Rewrites History, and on the farm, “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS”. Kafka’s Josef K is arrested and prosecuted by an unreachable officialdom, and charges are never known (divulged) to him. We could also surmise that Shakespeare’s written fable about Richard III and how evil he was is comparable to today’s media. History gives us another type of tragedy when we stop to think how insults lead to death and downfall, caused by pride and honor; (Hamilton v Burr Duel).

    Regarding Secretary Clintons destruction of electronic documents, that’s a dead horse that’s been buried for some time now, no need to exhume the horse. The only thing that can be discerned is she’s a sly master of muddling an issue, “did you wipe the drive?” “What? Like with a cloth or something” or “What difference at this point does it make” and let’s include Rose Law Firm records subpoenaed being found two years later in a storage area in White House residence. The real topper though and not having been fully vetted is the Uranium One deal with a Russian buyer.

    Regarding the latest assault on President Trump the questions I have, who packed the boxes of files at the White House? Why didn’t the archivists retrieve the 20 new boxes of documents when they first took 15 boxes in February? How can we be assured that a slip sheet or more weren’t inserted? Did the agent or agents viewing and cataloging the documents have proper clearances, there were no independent parties or video allowed during search, and document transfer cataloging? Speaking of cataloging how specific was it; did they document every page or just reference a file? I’m sure will soon know the answers “Yea Right”.

  13. Professor Turley, I respectfully have to disagree with you on this issue.
    You have repeatedly stated that, while she did have classified documents on her unsecured server, the situation does not warrant criminal prosecution. This is a glaring example of a two-tiered justice system at work.
    Anyone who has had the task of handling classified, top secret, or TSS-SCI information knows that you are required to handle such information with the utmost care. Any loss, theft of, or dissemination of such documents is regularly handled by a through investigation. If the person charged with the safe-keeping of such information is found to have mishandled those documents, at a minimum their clearance is revoked, though usually the result is termination or criminal prosecution. The sheer volume of material and the blatant disregard of Secretary Clinton of proper classified material handling procedures, if it were done by anyone else who wasn’t Hillary Clinton, would result in severe criminal charges. This is why so many conservatives chant, “Lock her up!”, not because she is a political opponent, but because the law should be applied equally.

    1. @Irregular

      Oh how wrong you are.
      The issue is that setting up a server isn’t illegal per se. Its when she first used it… that it became illegal.
      Further, the law gets a bit more complicated.

      1) Clinton and her staff violated FOIA. That’s a crime… misdemeanor. Mills is recorded responding to a FOIA request for emails… claimed that none existed. This was a crime because she knew and routinely communicated w Clinton over email.

      2) Use of a personal email server is allowed in certain circumstances. It is required that any emails sent or received over a personal account must be reported and sent within 30 days. This never happened. This is illegal. Further this… Clinton destroyed emails that should have been surrendered… again illegal.

      3) Espionage Act. It doesn’t require intent. While the emails were not marked Classified … they contained material that was clearly classified. So she is guilty here.

      Further… her email server was not secure and open to hacking. A security researcher checked his logs, and it turned out her server was in the logs w several glaring security holes. Not to mention there was no VPN or security in front of the unsecured server. There were reports that security researchers found evidence that China hackers had access to her server almost as soon as it was set up. (Not sure of the veracity of that report.) BTW her server was set up and configured by an idiot who had no clue what he was doing. Running a Microsoft Server and email? LOL… never! (FD. I used to run my own mail server for years. Dovecot and Linux that was locked down.)

      The lack of security… clearly opens the door to the Espionage Act.

      Now on Trump’s side… As POTUS he has the ability to declassify anything. Were those docs declassified? Not sure, but I suspect that the courts would side with him on this. With respect to the Espionage Act… those documents regardless of classifications were in a locked room inside his residence which had 24×7 secret service protection. The only other case of Espionage Act violation was where a general had classified docs at home (Also had a safe) yet he admitted sharing information w girlfriend. (Going from memory so not sure of all of the details. ) Trump, no record of sharing information.

      But back to Hillary… Yes, she should have been charged. No question.


      1. G,

        On Trump’s side whether the documents were classified or not is irrelevant. It’s the fact that he illegally kept those documents at home when they were not his property.

        The level of security required for the TS/SCI documents was not met. A padlock is not enough plus the fact that he had those documents outside of the padlocked room showed he was in violation of protocols for handling such documents.

        1. @Svelaz,

          Uhm not exactly.
          Trump writes a note on a napkin. According to the current NARA, thats something that should be in the national archive.
          Under prior POTUSes, that would be something that they could retain. He has rights to certain documents and can assert privilege.
          Obama wrote an EO that removed it and gave the current POTUS the ability to remove a former’s Executive Privilege. Note that this EO had not been challenged in court and would probably not survive a SCOTUS challenge. Biden therefore revoked Trump’s claim to EP. Had he not done this… then there could be no raid on Trump’s home. Also note… Judge who is overseeing the Special Master… wrote that Biden did order the search. (So Biden lied again)
          So this issue is a bit more complicated and its quite possible that if this were to get to SCOTUS… Trump will yet again be vindicated.
          But I digress…

          Its great that you agree the whole issue of classification is bogus.
          But in doing so, you’ve just proved that the whole excuse for the raid was really a 4th A violation of Trump’s rights.

          If, as you now say that its a NARA issue… then there was no need for a raid. Trump and his attorneys had earlier responded and gave access to his house and let them retrieve documents. If they had issues, there were less intrusive and more legal ways to handle it.

          The fact that they clearly took things that were clearly privileged and the warrant itself was written to take anything and everything… it leads to one conclusion.
          This was done to spy on Trump and to know what he had in his possession regarding prior bad acts by the FBI/DoJ.

          And before you claim that there were no prior bad acts… you can see the results from Durhams continuing investigation into Crossfire Hurricane and Clinton’s paid for Dossier.


          1. “Had he not done this… then there could be no raid on Trump’s home.”

            False. Trump was subpoenaed for all government documents with classified markings. He kept some and had his Custodian of Records lie that they’d all be turned over, so a judge signed a warrant to get the rest.

            “Judge who is overseeing the Special Master… wrote that Biden did order the search.”

            No, she didn’t. If you quote where you think she did that, we can straighten out your misunderstanding.

            “the whole issue of classification is bogus.”

            He was subpoenaed for everything with classification markings, regardless of whether they were classified. He failed to give them over 100 docs but had his Custodian certify that they’d turned them all over..

            1. Anonymous:

              Trump claimed that he declassified all documents in his possession, as was his right. He told his attorneys that any documents he’d retained were all declassified or not classified. The attorneys then signed a statement that to the best of their knowledge, all classified information had been turned over at the request of the National Archives.

              Now, some might argue that Trump either failed to declassify the documents, or couldn’t prove he had, or that certain documents should be stored elsewhere. However, that does not indicate the attorneys lied. To the best of their knowledge, the information retained had been declassified. Trump’s attorneys are being persecuted because they are Trump’s attorneys.

              The DOJ and NA can certainly argue that they want possession of certain documents, but it regards a disagreement, not dishonesty.

              The NA often spends years hunting down documents after Presidents leave office. Trump is being treated differently, again, by weaponized 3 letter agencies who appear to be working for the Democrat Party.

              Government agencies should be politically non biased, but of course that is emphatically not the case.

              1. Karen,

                Yes, Trump claimed in public “that he declassified all documents in his possession, as was his right.” However, Trump lies a lot, and it’s legal to lie in public, and his lawyers have NOT said this in their legal filings, where they’ll get a Bar ethics violation if they lie to the judge.

                More importantly, NONE of the 3 alleged crimes hinges on whether the documents are classified. Also, the DOJ has asked the Judge for a partial stay of her ruling for the subset of documents that are classified, so we’ll presumably find out whether she believes any of the documents to be classified.

                “The attorneys then signed a statement that to the best of their knowledge, all classified information had been turned over at the request of the National Archives.”

                ACTUALLY, if you paid attention to the subpoena, you’d know that they were subpoenaed for all documents with classified MARKINGS, and they failed to turn over more than 100 of them.

                Did you read the subpoena? It’s in the court filings.
                Did you read what Bobb actually certified and what Corcoran told the FBI? That’s in the court filings too.

                You seem to be relying on third party reporting about it instead of reading the primary documents yourself.

                “Trump’s attorneys are being persecuted”

                They aren’t.

                Read the court filings for yourself!!

    2. I write as one who at one time had TS-CI, S-RD and other clearances, some while in the military and some when working in aerospace industries. It was made clear to me in all positions that I could look forward to a government-paid vacation in Leavenworth, Kansas if I treated classified material in the cavalier manner displayed by Hillary Clinton.

      1. Ray, so would Trump which is why he’s in big trouble. That’s in addition to illegally having those documents at home, documents that are not his property.

  14. LOL! Turley still focusing on Hillary’s claim instead of Trump. Not surprising at all.

    She was still technically correct no matter how much Turley disagrees. It’s still technically correct.

    Why doesn’t he focus on Trump’s own lie about declassifying documents. His lawyers are not telling the judge the documents are declassified because the special master will have to have a very high security Clearance. Obviously the documents are not declassified. Trump lied.

    1. RE:”She was still technically correct no matter how much Turley disagrees. It’s still technically correct.” The Clintons have made a career out of managing to walk between the rain drops and not get wet. “Wild Bill’s’ Arkansas escapades were reason enough not to elect him President, but ‘NO’! Nor was the ‘Lewinsky Affair’ enough for HRC to do what any other self-respecting wife would do. Walk!! But that was not the master plan. The master plan was the first woman president.. They’d already established that there’d be no payback or accounting on their part. One wonders where the inspiration for ‘a basket full of deplorables’ might have come from. A constant reminder to the electorate, to assure that this hubris sotted reprobate of a human being never ascends to the chair behind the desk in the Oval Office will be payback enough for her deeds. Of course, the fault will never be in her stars, nor herself. That would require too much character to admit.

      1. ZZDoc,

        There were many republicans and conservatives that clearly declared Hillary guilty of a crime long before any investigations concluded or charges. But when it comes to Trump or other Republicans or conservatives they are supposed to be deemed innocent until proven guilty. Hillary was never proven guilty in a court of law or anywhere else. So she is still innocent of any of the accusations being levied by the right.

        Turley is focusing on years old grievances about Hillary that have no real comparison to Trump’s current and more serious problems. Trump’s chances of being indicted are so high that Turley doesn’t have the courage of discussing it for fear of getting on the bad side of trump supporters. You could say he is “self censoring” because of a fear of the backlash and the damage to his “reputation” as a respected constitutional scholar.

        Turley is just deflecting. It’s that obvious.

        1. RE:”So she is still innocent of any of the accusations being levied by the right.” That’s not the thrust of my comment. There’s enough established as fact, where she’s concerned, in the Russia Collusion/Steele Dossier/FBI:DOJ gambit to support my contentions and satisfy my hope. Simply because she’s always been devious enough to raise a cloaking device doesn’t mean she’s not the proverbial ‘man behind the curtain’ who we are asked to pay no attention to.

          1. Clinton is possibly the most crooked politician in US history.
            Nearly every dirty trick or political scandal since Watergate touches her.

            Many claim she has ordered murders. Few actually know if that is true.
            But it is not beyond beleif.

  15. Jonathan: Wow! This is your third column on Hillary Clinton in a week. Why the over kill? “Lock her up!” continues to be the for the MAGA crowd–even some in this chatroom. They are obsessed with HRC. Your job is to fuel that obsession even though you admit: “I do not believe that the email scandal [?] warranted criminal charges and certainly did not justify the ‘lock her up’ mantra…”. Given this admission why continue the crusade? As I have said previously, it’s an attempt to divert attention from the real “scandal”–Trump’s theft of top secret docs. HRC’s storing of sensitive material on her personal server while she was Secretary of State, does not begin to compare with Trump’s criminal acts–after he left office.

    To show how trivial are the attacks on HRC, one of your followers in this chatroom says: “HRC sells caps at $30 a pop! Pure chutzpah! Maybe her next foray into entrepreneurship will be teflon pantsuits!”. In case this follower hasn’t been paying attention Trump has his own online merchandise mart. His “Classic MAGA Hat” also sells for $30. The New Yorker calls Trump’s store “The Outsized Entrepreneurial World of Trump Merchandise”. Jared Kushner says during the 2016 campaign alone Trump was raking in about $80,000 per day on the sale of MAGA merchandise. During his 4 years in office Forbes estimates Trump earned about $940 million from his golf resorts and other properties. Emoluments Clause violations anyone? HRC is a piker compared to Trump’s merchandise scams!

    HRC will not be on the ballot in 2024. She won’t be on voter’s radar this year. She is not an issue. Trump will be. A new NBC poll shows 57% of voters believe the investigations into Trump should continue. 50% think Trump should actually be prosecuted. No wonder Fox wants to change the conversation. As a paid Fox contributor you know the drill. It has to be all about HRC.

    1. RE:”HRC will not be on the ballot in 2024. She won’t be on voter’s radar this year. She is not an issue” That is all irrelevant. She’s long overdue to be dragged to the proverbial ‘stocks’, publicly excoriated, and brought low for her moral and ethical turpitude. No amount of ‘whataboutisms’ regarding Trump or any of your other Republican ‘Sith Lords’ for that matter, changes that in my mind.

  16. 1.) is Pure ‘BS’ to say: sending ‘CLASSIFIED’ (any level) Info on an email or attached to an email but because the subject line does not say: ‘CLASSIFIED’ then the contents cannot be seen as ‘CLASSIFIED..’ Further, 2.) is it any different for Hillary to say ‘..I deleted thousands of emails because I decided they were ‘not Classified.. ..’ vis-a-vis Trump saying I declassified docs so they are not ‘Classified..’ ??? WHY is Hillary allowed to decide what is Classified or not.. but Pres. Trump is being persecuted .?
    Prof. Turley is doing a GREAT SERVICE to the USA by illuminating the double standard, to say the least….

    1. Trump hasn’t asserted in any legal filing that the items with classified markings taken in the search on Aug. 8 or returned to the government earlier this year are not classified. We don’t know. For a lot of Clinton’s emails, they were retroactively classified but weren’t classified at the time.

      Trump isn’t “persecuted.”

      1. Trump hasn’t asserted in any legal filing that the items with classified markings taken in the search on

        He hasn’t been charged with anything. Until they get into a trial, its useless.

        But exactly who has the power to adjudicate such a dispute? Not a Judge. Not the DoJ. Kind of stuck aren’t you?

        1. As is often the case with you, you’re mistaken.

          You clearly haven’t kept abreast of the motion to partially stay the ruling, pending appeal, in the Special Master case. The motion for the partial stay involves about 100+ classified documents found in the search. As the DOJ notes, “materials marked as classified (and papers physically attached to them) must be treated as classified until determined otherwise. … As an initial matter, Plaintiff has not shown that he had standing to seek relief, or that this Court properly exercised its equitable jurisdiction, with regard to the classified records. The classified records are government property over which the Executive Branch has control and in which Plaintiff has no cognizable property interest. … [Trump] has no right to the “return” of classified records, which are not “his” property. … there is no justification for extending the injunction and special-master review to the classified records. …”

          They’re still marked as classified, so Judge Cannon must treat them as classified unless Trump shows that they’re no longer classified.

          Of course she can adjudicate this. Strange that you believe she cannot.

      2. ..please…. what you’re saying re: Hillary’s emails: ‘..they were retroactively classified but weren’t classified at the time…’ . have just defended Trump beautifully.. as he has said that what he had was no longer classified at the time…………… and yes he isn’t just persecuted… he is brutally persecuted……….

        1. You’re confused. None of the alleged crimes depend on whether the documents were classified.

          Also, with respect to the classification status of all of these documents, with Clinton the issue isn’t whether Clinton now SAYS they were retroactively classified; it’s whether they WERE retroactively classified. And with Trump the issue isn’t whether Trump now SAYS they were declassified while he was President; it’s whether they WERE declassified while he was President. In Clinton’s case, it’s been confirmed that the docs WERE retroactively classified. In Trump’s case, we do not know whether or not he declassified them. He hasn’t presented evidence that that were declassified, and it may be resolved shortly, since it’s an issue in the Special Master case.

    2. If the emails were not designated as classified when they were sent then they were not classified. It’s that simple. They classified a lot of those emails AFTER they reviewed them. So technically Hillary was correct. Turley is just avoiding the bigger and more serious problems Trump is facing.

      1. “If the emails were not designated as classified when they were sent then they were not classified”
        Clinton having spent a dozen hours going through training on creation and handling classified information knew that.

          1. OK, Svelaz. A rogue Secret Service Agent breaks open the football, writes down the nuclear codes on a piece of paper, and then hands them to someone else. Are the nuclear codes not classified information, because the SS Agent did not write “classified” on the note?

            1. Classification marks are a GUIDE.

              There presence strongly suggests something is classified.
              There absence – if and only if you are not the creator suggests they are not.

              But if you create something new using classified knowledge it is classified.

              Documents marked classified are supposed to have their marks struck when they are declassified.
              That likely happens in many circumstances. But most defintely does not in all – possibly not most.

              Once ONE copy of a document is declassified – people can copy it willy nilly.
              There is no driving force to hunt down every marked copy and strike the marks.

              Further Svelaz keeps arguing – almost correctly – atleast for highly classified documents that Government very carefully tracks them. That means they know where every copy is all the time.
              If actually highly classified documents were at MAL – they were tracked and the government knew they were there without searching.

              lower levels of classification are not tracked.

          2. Also, the person writing a memo, white paper, or email, is trained in classified information, and thus puts that classification cover on. Or they submit the information for review.

            Hillary Clinton typed those emails herself, and SHE failed to write “classified” on the emails. Other emails forwarded information that was, in fact, marked “classified.” Hillary Clinton can not use the excuse that she, herself, failed to label classified information as “classified” on her emails, but her failure to mark them classified is now evidence that they were not classified.

            It’s like saying, the nuclear codes are not classified because I said so, and since I said they were not classified, then that is evidence that they are not classified. It’s circular false logic.

      2. Svelaz:

        Information is classified whether or not someone makes the effort to write “classified.”

        For example, the current nuclear codes would be classified, whether or not someone actually writes “classified” across the post it note on which they are hastily scribbled before being handed over to China.

        The information was classified, and knowingly so, at the time the emails were written. For example, certain information regarding the President is always considered classified, which she should have been trained on.

        This is different from information itself not being considered classified at the time, and then later something changes, and that information suddenly is considered classified. Let’s say, for example, there is a document about Professor X who has just published a paper on dark matter, requesting a meeting. In that meeting, he describes how he’s created the ultimate world ending weapon. His name, and that meeting, suddenly became classified information. Professor X would find himself with a new name, and identity, working in a siloed facility in Iowa. Such a retroactive classification would be another reason why State uses closed email systems, and why every single solitary email needs to be reviewed by State for classification status as well as for archives. If that CIA agent had used an illegal server in his house, and then backed it up to the Cloud, then China would be aware that Professor X requested that meeting, and that he had made remarkable innovations in dark matter physics. Professor X would be yanked off the street before ever getting his new documents and trip to Iowa.

          1. Ray…..I t sorry your heart. It’s 911….Nelson told me about it these years prior….not your burden to bear. It’s comer the Egyptians burden…And the politicians who put him there. All we can do is rattle tale….Relentlessly. xo jp! Never forget though!

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