Does it Matter that Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email for State Business?

It recently came out that Hillary Clinton was conducting all of her state business through a personal email account (and even her own server) while she was Secretary of State, apparently breaking the rules for state correspondence:

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

Is this actually important, or is this just GOP nitpicking of a possible 2016 presidential contender? Well, it may not make much of a difference if Hillary Clinton used a personal email account while Secretary of State. It is important to note, however, that not all of those emails have become part of the official records. Hillary Clinton was allowed to basically pick and choose which emails would be turned over to the civil government. Ummm, what?

Remember that whole Bengazhi thing where we were wondering how much Hillary Clinton knew and when she knew it? Maybe we could find some of that out from these emails. Not that it would matter all that much, since she resigned before much anything else could be done. But her lapse in judgment and her subsequent lies to cover that lapse could probably be outlined, if not fully fleshed out, by a perusal of her emails, and it seems to me that establishing her corrupt mendacity might have some impact on her bid for President.

This is not a minor issue. Without transparency in the state department, we can never know whether the steady string of government mishaps that have marked the Obama administration have resulted from systemic incompetence or systemic corruption. Or both.

My bet would be on both.

Leave a Reply