In case you haven’t been following the Hillary Clinton email scandal lately, the most recent round of emails from Hillary’s private server were dropped yesterday, and the news just keeps getting worse for the presidential aspirant. As you might expect, there’s plenty of important information we can mine from this. The exchange over the former Secretary’s struggles with emojis seems to have gotten the most press, but we should not let that be the shiny object that distracts us from far more important things contained within the latest release. Here are some of the highlights:
To start, the most recent count of her emails with classified information in them now stands at 671. Unsurprisingly, her aides also sent and received classified information as well.
Another interesting story here lies in an email from the Tripoli embassy from September 14, 2012. In it, an official from Libya specifically warns our government to not blame the Benghazi attack on that Muhammad video. From The Blaze:
“This email shows that State Department staff privately raised concerns about conflating the terrorist attacks in Benghazi with a video on the Internet, even as the Secretary of State and other Obama administration officials continued to do so publicly,” Matt Wolking, the House Select Committee on Benghazi press secretary, told TheBlaze in a statement Saturday morning. “Furthermore, according to the former head of the CIA, intelligence ‘analysts never said the video was a factor in the Benghazi attacks.’ So while Secretary Clinton may use the ‘fog of war’ as a convenient excuse for why she said one thing in private and something else in public, the reality is that’s just another smokescreen.”
So there’s some important evidence that the US government knew the video explanation was wrong, but they continued to use it to evade blaming their own political failures.
Continuing on the Benghazi attacks, it’s important to note who had Hillary’s private email and who did not. She evidently conversed with Ben Affleck on the subject of his East Congo charity. She also exchanged emails with Lady Gaga, who seems to be a big fan of Hillary’s. Who apparently did not have her personal email is the most important story here, though, as Christopher Stevens does not show up in her massive list of contacts. If Hillary relied on her personal emails as much as she says she did, then that’s a critical oversight on her part.
At the moment, we should not expect any emails from Clinton to Obama to show up. The White House has blocked their release. Politico gives the administration’s reasoning:
“With regard to the President’s email, as we have previously acknowledged, the President did on occasion trade emails with Secretary Clinton, and we presume those communications will ultimately be made public, along with the rest of the President’s records, after he leaves office,” a senior administration official said. “There is a long history of presidential records being kept confidential while the President is in office. It is a principle that previous White Houses have vigorously defended as it goes to the core of the President’s ability to receive unvarnished advice and counsel during his time in office and is central to the independent functioning of the Executive Branch.”
No doubt that this precedent gives the administration something to hide behind, but it also allows both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to evade any potentially explosive revelations from these exchanges until after the 2016 elections are over. It seems to me like this would be an excellent time to challenge that precedent, given the gravity of the issues at hand.
Finally, we have more insight into just how involved Sid Blumenthal was with Hillary’s Department of State. The short answer is “very”, and it’s hard to believe it was all unsolicited. For one, he drafted a speech she gave in 2009 as Secretary of State (and not just on the side). He also wrote to Clinton on matters beyond Libya, including Syria and Israel. Again, it’s hard to believe that the latter is merely unsolicited advice, and the former certainly is not.
There’s a lot to unpack from these emails. What I’ve tried to provide here are a few highlights. It might not be enough to get her sent to jail, but it’s plenty of fodder for the FBI and Congress to investigate. If we were honest with ourselves as a nation, the revelations in both this round of emails and those released in previous months would be more than enough to sink Hillary’s Presidential campaign. Unfortunately, they are not, but that shouldn’t stop us from keeping this story in the public eye. There’s a lot more at stake than making fun of a former Secretary of State’s attempts to figure out emojis.