Even Hillary Clinton will have trouble explaining this.
Trey Gowdy, the head of the House committee investigating the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 released a copy of the subpeona on Wednesday that the committee issued to the former secretary of state in March, contradicting Clinton’s statement on Tuesday that “I’ve never had a subpoena” in connection to the case.
That statement — which Democrat loyalists are spinning furiously — was one of numerous flirtations with falsehood The Wall Street Journal turned up during a fact-check of Clinton’s CNN interview on Tuesday night.
There were at least four others, The Journal reported:
1.) “Everything I did was permitted. There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate.”
While the Journal agreed that Clinton didn’t violate law by using her private email address on her private server, what she did still ran counter to the State Department’s recommendations and guidelines. The Journal reported:
Guidance published in the State Department’s foreign affairs manual call for employees to use secure, department-approved computer systems — even for unclassified information. And a 2011 diplomatic cable issues in Mrs. Clinton’s name instructs employees to avoid using their personal emails for government business.
2.) “You’re starting with so many assumptions that are — I’ve never had a subpoena.”
She was actually served with a subpoena for her emails in March.
“The Select Committee on Benghazi today issued subpoenas for all communications of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to Libya and to the State Department for other individuals who have information pertinent to the investigation,” committee spokesman Jamal Ware said at the time. “The committee also has issued preservation letters to internet firms informing them of their legal obligation to protect all relevant documents.”
Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks, reiterated this fact, stating Clinton left him “no choice in order to correct the inaccuracy.”
Finally, “news outlets have been seeking access to Mrs. Clinton’s emails for years under the Freedom of Information Act,” as The Journal reported.
3.) “I didn’t have to turn over anything. I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me …”
“And I had no obligation to do any of that. So let’s set the record straight.”
This is a total misstatement. Public servants using private email accounts are required to preserve their government-related communications “in the appropriate agency record-keeping system,” according to a 2009 statement from the National Archives.
According to experts in the field contacted by The Journal:
“When you listen to the CNN interview, she apparently remains under the impression that she went above and beyond any legal requirements and that there were no requirements as a matter of law or fact to make an issue out in terms of her failure to turn over email records relating to government business on a more timely basis,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle and former director of litigation for the National Archives and Records Administration. “That’s clearly not correct.
“She was required to turn over all of her emails relating to State Department business no later than when she left office under any reasonable reading of the existing rules that were in effect then. She didn’t go above and beyond her legal duties. She acted to fulfill them by turning over government records in her continuing possession.”
4.) “I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system.”
Her claim was that although the emails she sent weren’t in the system, they were nonetheless preserved by the person at the receiving end. But most State Department employees fell far short of their record-preserving responsibilities.
In 2011, out of more than a billion official business emails sent, employees had preserved only 61,156, according to an inspector general’s report.
But even if they were all preserved, that doesn’t absolve Clinton of her own record-preserving responsibilities.
5.) “I turned over everything that I could imagine.”
The State Department admitted last month that it failed to receive at least 15 emails from Clinton that should have been turned over. These were emails that the Select Benghazi committee received from Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton confidante that she’s sought information and advice from while serving as secretary of state,
Since turning over approximately half of the emails stored on her personal server, Clinton reported that she had wiped the server clean.
From the time Clinton was fired as a House Judiciary Committee staff member for dishonesty during the Watergate hearings 40 years ago, she’s been plagued with the accusation of being less than honest.
That Tuesday interview did nothing to help.
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