July 5, 2016

A Clinton Email Filled Fourth Of July

It was a big weekend for Hillary Clinton. While most Americans spent hours in front of the grill celebrating America’s Independence Day, Clinton spent hours in front of the FBI taking questions on her illicit private email server. Her email troubles did not end there however. The long holiday weekend would ultimately be suffused with bad news relating to the long-running saga of Clinton’s private email server.

Yesterday, the New York Post reported that during a deposition last week, Clinton-aide Huma Abedin admitted that when Clinton was Secretary of State, Clinton and her office burned Clinton’s daily schedules:

“If there was a schedule that was created that was her Secretary of State daily schedule, and a copy of that was then put in the burn bag, that . . . that certainly happened on . . . on more than one occasion,” Abedin told lawyers representing Judicial Watch, the conservative organization behind the emails lawsuit.

After Clinton previously joked about deleting emails from her server, the revelation that Clinton and her staff had in fact deleted federal records raises questions about Clinton’s flippant attitude toward transparency.

The news about Clinton’s document burning comes on the heels of reports that Clinton’s Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy pleaded ignorance on over 50 questions in his own Clinton email deposition. Kennedy, “the State Department’s senior-most official responsible for compliance with federal records-keeping laws,” incomprehensibly testified that Clinton’s use of a private email “did not strike any bells in my mind, no.”

Also this weekend, two fact checks took Clinton’s misleading statements about her private email server to task.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker pointed out that in light of recently released emails, Clinton’s claim that she used her private email “out of convenience” has become more suspect:

Convenience certainly may have been a factor. But what is clear now is that on at least two separate occasions in her tenure, Clinton was open to carrying two devices or having two separate email accounts — especially when her use of personal email led to communications breakdowns with her staff. These details show there was more happening than Clinton explained in this statement, and it makes her convenience excuse less credible.

America Rising similarly highlighted Clinton’s inconsistency in March 2015, when Clinton first made the “convenience” claim only two weeks after admitting she used two separate devices at home.

The Fact Checker went further, criticizing Clinton’s claim that her server was allowed, noting that Clinton played with “semantic differences that are meaningless to the average voter” and awarding Clinton’s email claims Three Pinocchios.

PolitiFact also waded into the discussion and called out Clinton’s perennially misleading claim that she “never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.” PolitiFact said Clinton’s defense “obscures” the fact that many of the emails on her private server contain classified information, marked or not:

The possibility remains, however, that that she sent or received classified information that was inappropriately left unlabeled — or that Clinton, as head of the department, failed to recognize and deal with information that should have been classified.

But the government classification system is complicated, and Clinton fails to acknowledge that classified information could have moved through her email server without a proper label. Part of the problem is Clinton’s private server itself, because only she and her team know what was in the emails she deleted.

We rate her claim Half True.

As the FBI investigation into her illicit private email enters its final stages, the continuing drip, drip, drip of information has painted an increasingly incriminating picture for Clinton. Clinton will have to answer to the court of fact and fiction eventually.