[guest post by JVW]
The once and future front-runner for the Presidency, Hillary! Rodham
Clinton, took to the podium today to unveil her defense for using a personal account to conduct her duties at Secretary State. Naturally, because this is the highly-secretive Clinton Crime Family we are talking about, her press conference was tacked on to an event at the United Nations headquarters where Hillary! spoke earlier to commemorate International Women’s Day. Holding it at the U.N was a stroke of genius, as Anne Gearan and Phillip Rucker explain in the Washington Post:
Rather than staging the news conference at an easily accessible venue, such as a Manhattan hotel, Clinton scheduled it inside the high-security U.N. headquarters building.
Securing credentials for the United Nations is a laborious process that typically takes days at best, leaving members of the media scrambling to gain access Tuesday morning. The line for credentials wrapped the block outside the cramped U.N. office where all badges are issued. A lone staffer, beleaguered but polite, was handling all press requests. Badges in hand, reporters then waited in a long line to pass through security.
Brilliant move: make sure that the domestic reporters who are the most likely to have pointed questions for you are required to jump through hoops to gain entrance to the venue, leaving a large cadre of international reporters who probably aren’t paying much attention to this story to serve as your stenographers. They don’t miss a trick over in Clintonland.
As to the content of her remarks, Hillary! acknowledged that “it would have been better for me to use two separate phones and two e-mail accounts [i.e., an official .gov account as well as her personal account],” but insisted that she combined them because, “using one device would be simpler.”
Now, I’ll be the first one to acknowledge that I don’t know the exact government regulations in place here, but I can attest to the fact that it is possible to have both professional and personal email accounts on a mobile device. Does the government have a rule that says a .gov email account can only be accessed from a government-issued mobile device? And then are there rules that say that no other email account can be installed on that device, even if you are a bigwig like the Secretary of State? In what world would you not be allowed to have a personal email account on a government-issued device, but it would be totally permissible to have your own homebrew server to send and receive classified documents? (Answer: the world of the federal government.)
And finally, let’s look at what Madame Rodham’s defense is for the accusations that her actions impede government transparency. Again, quoting Gearan and Rucker:
Clinton turned over a trove of 55,000 pages of e-mails last year at the State Department’s request. The trove did not include every e-mail sent from Clinton’s private account. An aide said some were deemed personal. Most of the 55,000 pages are communications between Clinton and other State Department officials, the aide said last week.
So there you have it: Hillary!’s aides got to pick and choose which emails were released to the State Department and which ones are deemed “personal.” I would imagine that the search went something like this:
Aide: “OK, this one is dealing with the King of Nepal’s request for an extra invitation for his second cousin at the upcoming state dinner.”
HRC: “Release it.”
Aide: “This one is dealing with the floral arrangements for Chelsea’s wedding, and the offer of the Saudi Prince to invest $5 million in your son-in-law’s hedge fund as a wedding gift.”
HRC: “Trash it.”
Aide: “This one is an analysis of the expected grain yields in China for 2012 through 2017.”
HRC: “Release it.”
Aide: “This one is where you suggest to POTUS that the Benghazi attack be blamed on that obscure filmmaker.”
HRC: “Trash it! Burn it! Delete it! Destroy the hard drive!”
Yeah, we can trust the Clinton’s to play this honestly, can’t we?
Update: The Washington Post (hey, they’re doing a pretty good job on this story!) has a new post in which they discuss the why-not-two-accounts-on-one-device angle.