The White House sort of admits that this Hillary Clinton email thing has legs.

(Via Hot Air) Oh, this is good. Short version: Jon Karl asked Josh Earnest, quite often, if the administration knew about Hillary Clinton’s habit of ignoring government rules by never using (or even having) her work email.  Hilarity ensued, if you’re into that sort of thing:

A free translation:

Jon Karl (ABC News): Does the White House think that Hillary Clinton broke the law by not using a work email when she was Secretary of State?

Josh Earnest (WH Press Secretary): Yadda yadda yadda…

Jon Karl: Does the White House think that Hillary Clinton broke the law?

Josh Earnest: Yadda yadda…

Jon Karl: DOES THE WHITE HOUSE THINK THAT HILLARY CLINTON BROKE THE LAW

Josh Earnest: Ah… no?

Jon Karl: Your predecessor Jay Carney stated for the record back in 2011 that everybody in the government was supposed to be using work email accounts…

Josh Earnest: Look, yadda –

Jon Karl: …did the administration not know that Hillary was ignoring that requirement?

Josh Earnest: Maybe Jay Carney never emailed Hillary Clinton…

Jon Karl: Wait, what?

Josh Earnest: …so, clearly, yadda yadda yadda. Some non-work email accounts are OK.

Jon Karl: She did not have a work email account! It was all a private account!

Josh Earnest: [expletive deleted] it. Go talk to her, OK? We told ’em what the proper email procedure was. Happy? HAPPY? They’re going to send the zombies after me now for admitting this, so I hope you enjoyed it.

…Man, I wouldn’t take the WH Press Secretary job on a bet.

Moving on: yeah, this story may have some legs – particularly since (also via Hot Air*) it turns out that a bunch of Clinton’s staffers may also have been using private email accounts to do State Department business. You will probably recognize the names: Huma Abedin and Philippe Reines. At least one of them has an account on the same host (ClintonEmail.com); but, obviously, if Hillary Clinton and her staffers are communicating with each other on official business using private accounts then there’s really no way to track that using the official State Department computer system.  Which was almost certainly the point.

If this all seems like an odd sort of scandal to generate such a potentially campaign-damaging (or even -destroying) result… well, that’s how it works in this business. It’s the little stuff that can trip you up. Don’t why that is, but I’ve seen it happen enough times to accept that the phenomenon exists. Especially when you remember that not everybody in the Democratic party loves Hillary Clinton.  Some, in fact, hate her. They also fear her, of course; which is one reason why this story is getting a surprising amount of play.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Actually via Gawker, but I can’t make myself give them traffic directly. Still, they’re smelling blood on the water over there; and they’ve been chasing a variant of this story since 2012.