Sorry For What, Hillary? – National Journal


Apologies aren’t answers to these 19 questions Clinton must answer.

I’m sorry about that,” Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton said six years after seiz­ing con­trol of gov­ern­ment email and after six months of deny­ing wrong­do­ing. Just this week, it took three dif­fer­ent in­ter­views in four days for her to beg the puni­est of par­dons: “I do think I could have and should have done a bet­ter job an­swer­ing ques­tions earli­er.”

You think? By any ob­ject­ive meas­ure, the Demo­crat­ic pres­id­en­tial front-run­ner has re­spon­ded to her email scan­dal with de­flec­tion and de­cep­tion, shred­ding her cred­ib­il­ity while giv­ing a skep­tic­al pub­lic an­oth­er reas­on not to trust the in­sti­tu­tions of polit­ics and gov­ern­ment.

An apo­logy doesn’t fix that. An apo­logy also doesn’t an­swer the scan­dal’s most im­port­ant ques­tions.

1. While apo­lo­giz­ing in an ABC in­ter­view on Tues­day, you said, “What I had done was al­lowed, it was above board.” You must know by now that while the State De­part­ment al­lowed the use of home com­puters in 2009, agency rules re­quired that email be se­cured. Yours was not. Just nine months in­to your term, new reg­u­la­tions re­quired that your emails be cap­tured on de­part­ment serv­ers. You stashed yours on a home-brewed sys­tem un­til Con­gress found out. Why not ad­mit you vi­ol­ated policy? Why do you keep mis­lead­ing people?

2. If what you did was “above board,” then you wouldn’t ob­ject to all ex­ec­ut­ive branch of­fi­cials at every level of gov­ern­ment and from both parties stor­ing their email on private serv­ers – out of the pub­lic’s reach. Tell me how that wouldn’t sub­vert the fed­er­al Free­dom of In­form­a­tion Act and “sun­shine laws” in every state?

3. If what you did was “al­lowed,” then you wouldn’t ob­ject to all ex­ec­ut­ive branch of­fi­cials at every level of gov­ern­ment and from both parties us­ing secret serv­ers to shield them­selves from le­gis­lat­ive over­sight. Wouldn’t that un­der­mine the le­gis­lat­ive branch’s con­sti­tu­tion­al au­thor­ity?  Wouldn’t it lead to more polit­ic­al cor­rup­tion?

4. If what you did be­came a na­tion­wide pre­ced­ent, his­tor­i­ans would be left with ex­po­nen­tially less archiv­al ma­ter­i­al to ex­plain the ac­tions of polit­ic­al lead­ers. You would have helped to erase the pub­lic memory. OK with that?

5. Who au­thor­ized the de­le­tion of 31,000 emails from your serv­er? Who car­ried it out? Were they ap­proved to re­view and se­cure clas­si­fied doc­u­ments?

6. The pub­lic and Con­gress has no right to see your truly per­son­al email. Do you con­sider email about your fam­ily’s found­a­tion to be per­son­al? Can you guar­an­tee that none of the de­leted email in­volved the Bill, Hil­lary & Chelsea Clin­ton Found­a­tion or its donors?

7. You said you didn’t have time to think about your email sys­tem when you star­ted at State, but it ap­pears you put a lot of thought in­to it. You said you did it for the con­veni­ence of hav­ing one device, but we found out later you car­ried at least two. You also said it was for you and Pres­id­ent Clin­ton to email each oth­er, but we now know he has only emailed once in his life. Why can’t we get a straight an­swer about why you cre­ated an un­au­thor­ized, un­pre­ced­en­ted email in­fra­struc­ture?

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