The New York Times' Amy Chozick has a great scoop today regarding Hillary Clinton's email practices while she was secretary of state. Here's the crux:

Pressed by the F.B.I. about her email practices at the State Department, Hillary Clinton told investigators that former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell had advised her to use a personal email account ... Separately, in a 2009 email exchange that also emerged during the F.B.I. questioning, Mrs. Clinton, who had already decided to use private emailasked Mr. Powell about his email practices when he was the nation’s top diplomat under George W. Bush, according to a person with direct knowledge of Mr. Powell’s appearance in the documents, who would not speak for attribution.

The implication here is clear: Clinton told the FBI that Powell advised her to use a private email account since he had done so while in the same job. Therefore, Clinton's assertion that she was simply following the accepted practices of previous secretaries of state is entirely proven out. Done and done!

Um, not really. Let me count the ways in which the Clinton email setup ≠ the Powell email setup:

1. Clinton exclusively used a private email account to conduct State Department business. Powell did not.

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2. Clinton had a private email server, located at her house. Powell did not.

3. The rules governing electronic communication changed considerably — and got more strict — between Powell's time in office and Clinton's. This from the essential WaPo Fact Checker:

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After Powell left office in 2005, and through 2011, the State Department’s guidance for private email use was “considerably more detailed and more sophisticated.”
In 2002, there was a new requirement for email users to “determine the significance and value of information created on e-mail systems [and] determine the need to preserve those messages that qualify as records.” Rules for nongovernment information systems for the State Department were established in May 2004, toward the end of Powell’s tenure.
Clinton’s email use should be evaluated in the context of the clearer guidance under her tenure, and the various memorandums “specifically discussing the obligation” for officials to use department systems in most circumstances, the report said. “Secretary Clinton’s cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives,” the report said.

Those rule changes — as well as the technological advancement made between 2005 and 2011 — were at the center of Powell's shade-throwing statement in response to the "Well, Colin did it" argument made by Clinton to the FBI. (Notice the "at the time" caveat in the statement.)

The attempt to — again — equate what Powell did with what Clinton did is yet more evidence that either the candidate, her senior advisers or both simply don't get it. No, Clinton wasn't indicted by the Justice Department for her email setup. But she was badly reprimanded by FBI Director James Comey for her email practices; it was an unequivocal condemnation of her conduct in relation to her approach to electronic communications while serving as the country's top diplomat.

For whatever reason — and despite the fact that Clinton has said on several occasions that she knows she made a mistake — she seems incapable of accepting that responsibility and moving on. No secretary of state — up to and including Colin Powell — handled their email setup like Clinton. That's a fact.

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