Spinning the Email Web

According to Factcheck.org,

Hillary Clinton once again made the claim that using a private email account and server while secretary of state was “absolutely permitted.” That’s pure spin. We’ve been through this before, but it bears repeating as more information becomes available:

  • Federal regulations allowed Clinton to send and receive emails outside the government system, but those emails had to be preserved before she left office. Clinton did not provide the department with emails from her private server until 21 months after she left office.

  • Her decision to conduct government business exclusively on a private server was, as one federal records expert put it, “inconsistent with long-established policies and practices … governing all federal agencies.” A federal judge in a lawsuit involving Clinton’s emails said she failed to follow “government policy.”

Factcheck continues:

Simply put, Clinton did not follow the NARA regulations on preserving email records.

In addition, Clinton’s decision to conduct government business exclusively through a private email network caught the experts at NARA by surprise. It was unprecedented. Clinton has said that other “secretaries of state” did the “same thing,” but Colin Powell — who was secretary of state from 2001 to 2005 — was the only other secretary of state to use an email account outside of the government email system and he did not set up a private server. Powell used America Online, where he once served on the board of directors.

The day after the New York Times broke its story, NARA Chief Records Officer Paul M. Wester Jr. sent a letter to the State Department saying he was “concerned that Federal records may have been alienated from the Department of State’s official recordkeeping systems.” Wester wanted to know what the department was doing to retrieve “records created using personal email accounts.” (See the first exhibit in Attachment B of NARA’s response to GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley.)

The State Department responded to that letter on April 2, 2015, by informing NARA that, among other things, it had sent a letter to “all employees reminding them of their responsibilities vis-a-vis records, emails, and personal accounts.” In its letter to employees, the State Department said, “As a general matter, to ensure a complete record of their activities, senior officials should not use their private e-mail accounts (e.g., Gmail) for official business.”

The reminder was nothing new. In fact, as the Washington Post Fact Checker wrote, Clinton herself in June 2011 sent a cable “under her signature warning employees to ‘avoid conducting official Department business from your personal e-mail accounts.’ ”

Is that Clintonese for, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say”?? Here’s the video summation:

Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners May 13, 2016
Pouting "Never Trump" Republicans