News reports today reveal that Sidney Blumenthal, Hillary Clinton’s crony barred from the State Department but worming his way into State via more than two dozen memos, has turned over previously undiscovered emails. As the New York Times notes, this raises “new questions about whether the State Department and Mrs. Clinton have complied with a series of requests from the [Benghazi panel].” Perhaps she put them in the “personal” category before destroying them and wiping her server.
Reacting angrily, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) in a written statement said, “New revelations that the Obama State Department or former Secretary Hillary Clinton withheld emails related to Benghazi and Libya from the Select Committee are outrageous.” He continued, “First she set up a private server to avoid transparency and records law, then she wiped it clean while its contents were under subpoena – and apparently failed to ensure congressional investigators were provided with everything they are entitled to. What in the world is she trying to hide?”
What is not clear is whether she knowingly withheld the documents or whether she was, let’s say, generous in her categorization of some emails as “personal,” and thereby destroyed information that had been requested. Politico notes that she may have been too cute by half:
[A] congressional source did not know whether Clinton had turned over all the new emails to State and State did not provide them, or whether Clinton failed to hand over the correspondence. . . .At the crux of the back-and-forth is whether the committee specifically asked State for all Clinton’s Libya emails or only Benghazi-related correspondence. State says the panel initially asked for Benghazi-only material and only recently expanded that request to include all correspondence on the Middle Eastern nation. The congressional source argued that the initial request for information from Clinton was aimed at all Libya correspondence — and that State was being evasive.
The Dec. 2, 2014, letter to Clinton’s lawyer, which he then forwarded to State, does not seem to limit the scope. . . .
The panel in its statement says some of the emails specifically relate to the Benghazi attacks and, therefore, should have been turned over, even if the State Department read the document request narrowly.
Since Clinton used a personal server when she was secretary, rather than an official State email account as she was supposed to, her lawyer decided which emails constituted “official” communications and provided them to the State Department before they were released to the committee and publicly.
This is pure Clinton: secretive, never entirely forthcoming or truthful and breaking rules no other politician would dare try to evade. Like the Rose Law Firm billing records that conveniently disappeared for several years during the Whitewater scandal, the heretofore missing emails may have been “misplaced” or intentionally withheld. If so, and if she intentionally defied a subpoena, the stakes get higher for her.
This latest news is also a reminder that with the Clinton circus you never know exactly what is out there. The recent security breaches suggest again that third-party hackers may well be in possession of a great deal more information than she has provided to Congress. That puts her — and her party — in an awkward and vulnerable position, possibly at the mercy of hackers who might disclose at a time of their choosing new information.