Hillary Clinton's lawyer refused to destroy emails

Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Foto: Elke Estel/ Hans-Peter Klut Jacob Jordaens Antwerpen 1593 – 1678 Antwerpen Diogenes mit der Laterne, auf dem Markt Menschen suchend. Um 1642 Öl auf Leinwand; 233 x 349 cm Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Gal.-Nr. 1010 Verwendung nur mit Genehmigung und Quellenangabe
Diogenes Searching for an Honest Man

Diogenes may just be smiling.

In our chronicles of the many and mutating faces of Hillary Clinton’s email story, we noted that her ‘wartime consigliere’, David Kendall, seemed to have placed himself in legal jeopardy. Kendall clearly held onto Top Secret material retrieved from Hillary Clinton’s server. He stored it improperly. And he and at least two of his associates viewed it even though they had no ‘need to know.’

The emerging story seems much more murky and Kendall may have actually played the role of the honest man.

Hillary Clinton’s personal attorney balked at the State Department’s first effort to erase a newly-classified email from the thumb drive containing about 30,000 messages she turned over to her former agency, according to just-released correspondence.
Clinton lawyer David Kendall said deleting the now-secret message could run afoul of promises he previously made to the House Benghazi committee and two inspectors general to preserve electronic copies of all Clinton’s work-related message from her tenure as secretary of state.

“I have responded to each preservation request by confirming to the requestor that I would take reasonable steps to preserve the 55,000 pages of former Secretary Clinton’s emails in their present electronic form,” Kendall wrote to Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy on June 15. “I therefore do not believe it would be prudent to delete, as you request, the above-referenced email from the master copies of the [Microsoft Outlook] PST file that we are preserving.”

When one reads more one comes away with the impression that Patrick Kennedy was trying to ensure that he had 100% control of the surviving documents and hence of the narrative. We’ve posted before on Kennedy who seems both a hard core Democrat and a rather vicious sort of bureaucrat who will happily obstruct Congressional inquiries in order to make sure State doesn’t look bad. He is the guy behind selecting a major Clinton donor to oversee the production of Clinton’s email pursuant to court order even though she, herself, has emails in the collection.

Kennedy also seems to be trying to keep tabs on what the FBI is finding:

“We understand that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has obtained the private server used by former Secretary Clinton to operate her personal email account along with one or more related thumb drives,” Kennedy wrote to FBI Director James Comey on Monday. “While we do not want to interfere with the FBI’s review the Department of State has an interest in preserving its federal records and, therefore, requests the FBI’s assistance.”

Kennedy’s letter asks the FBI for an electronic copy of the roughly 55,000 pages of emails Clinton produced on paper last year, but also asks the FBI to advise if it recovers any more federal records from a server once used to store Clinton’s email and recently turned over to the FBI by a Colorado-based tech company that maintained the equipment.

“To the extent the FBI recovers any potential federal records that may have existed on the server at various points in time in the past, we request that you apprise the Department insofar as such records correspond with Secretary Clinton’s tenure at the Department of State,” Kennedy wrote. “Because of the Department’s commitment to preserving its federal records, we also ask that any recoverable media and content be preserved by the FBI so that we can determine how best to proceed.”

Kendall may still end up in trouble for his participation in this hare-brained scheme to mishandle classified information but even if he does the nation owes him a debt as he is the first member we’ve discovered in the Clinton entourage that actually cares about those arcane words: duty and honor.