It looks like Hillary Clinton’s efforts to unilaterally determine which emails from her private server she would turn over are going… well, about as well as pretty much every other effort managed by Hillary Clinton has gone. Which is to say, about as well as an ongoing dumpster fire:
The FBI has recovered personal and work-related e-mails from the private computer server used by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, according to a person familiar with the investigation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s success at salvaging personal e-mails that Clinton said had been deleted raises the possibility that the Democratic presidential candidate’s correspondence eventually could become public. The disclosure of such e-mails would likely fan the controversy over Clinton’s use of a private e-mail system for official business.
You will recall that back when this scandal first blew up, Clinton defiantly claimed the authority to determine which emails she would turn over, and announced that her staff had already declared that roughly half the emails on the server were “purely personal” in nature and deleted them, a clear effort to remove a significant number of the emails from scrutiny and an absolute middle finger to the notion of government transparency.
Predictably, Hillary Clinton couldn’t even do this right. According to the New York Times, the FBI personnel who have been investigating the server have found recovering the emails that Clinton attempted to delete to be laughably easy:
The F.B.I. is looking into how classified information was handled in connection with the account. It was not clear whether the entire trove of roughly 60,000 emails had been found on the server, but one official said it had not been very hard for the F.B.I. to recover the messages.
Another source, speaking to FoxNews, went even farther:
An intelligence source told Fox News earlier this month that investigators were “confident” they could recover the deleted records. The source said that whoever had been deputized to scrub the server must “not be a very good IT guy. There are different standards to scrub when you do it for government versus commercial.”
One possible identity of the “not  very good IT guy” in question, of course, would be Bryan Pagliano, the State Department flunkie who the Clintons allegedly paid out of their own pocket to manage the server. As we have covered extensively here, Pagliano was fantastically unqualified for the job of managing and securing such a device, which was one of the fundamental problems with the arrangement that Clinton set up in the first place. If Pagliano was the guy responsible for trying to delete these emails, it would explain why actual government IT experts are able to find them so easily, and also why Pagliano took the Fifth rather than face questioning under oath last month.
It is also worth noting that, even given the cursory review the FBI agents have conducted so far, they have already found both personal and work-related emails that were deleted, which shows that Hillary’s staff did a predictably crack job of separating the two (if we suppose that they even honestly tried, which would require us to suppose that Clinton is not a liar, which is something almost no Americans believe. Note: Hillary Clinton is hurt by your lack of belief in her honesty, America. Hurt, and wounded.)
In either event, it is clear that some emails that Hillary Clinton wanted deleted are now going to be subject to review, which could be fun times for all involved. Oh, and while we are at it, the Washington Post has noted that Clinton’s explanation for how she came to receive the request for these emails in the first place was a flat out lie:
Throughout the controversy over her use of a private e-mail system while she was secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton has described her decision last year to turn over thousands of work-related e-mails as a response to a routine-sounding records request.
“When we were asked to help the State Department make sure they had everything from other secretaries of state, not just me, I’m the one who said, ‘Okay, great, I will go through them again,’ ” Clinton said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And we provided all of them.”
But State Department officials provided new information Tuesday that undercuts Clinton’s characterization. They said the request was not simply about general record-keeping but was prompted entirely by the discovery that Clinton had exclusively used a private e-mail system. They also said they first contacted her in the summer of 2014, at least three months before the agency asked Clinton and three of her predecessors to provide their e-mails.
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“In the process of responding to congressional document requests pertaining to Benghazi, State Department officials recognized that it had access to relatively few email records from former Secretary Clinton,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement e-mailed to The Washington Post. “State Department officials contacted her representatives during the summer of 2014 to learn more about her email use and the status of emails in that account.”
Whoops. Just an honest misunderstanding, I’m sure. All very routine and nothing out of the ordinary for the State Department, no doubt.
The good news, Democrats, is that this particular probe won’t likely be finished until around the first of February, so there’s still hypothetically enough time for someone else to ride in to the rescue if Hillary faces criminal charges for this fiasco – as long as you’re comfortable with “someone else” being Bernie Sanders.