Although Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may mot be happy with WikiLeaks’ release of emails coming from her and her staff, that doesn’t mean that she isn’t above doing the same thing herself.
But unlike Julian Assange‘s group, she just doesn’t want her name associated with it.
Newly-released Clinton emails confirm that the former secretary of state approved a plan in early 2015, shortly after her own email scandal broke, to fight fire with fire by publishing Republican lawmakers’ rejections of Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] requests for their own private emails.
Although State Department emails are subject to FOIA requests, those from members of Congress are not.
The idea was to make Republican look guilty by rejecting the FOIA requests for their own communications.
“I told HRC yesterday I was going to submit FOIA requests to the Rs on the committee and [Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz] etc just to trigger their offices sending me replies that Congress is exempt from FOIA and therefore they are rejecting my request,” Philippe Reines wrote to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in a March 15, 2015 email.
“She loved the idea, just preferred it not come from me,” he continued. “Ideas on who should do?”
Pedestal’s reply was short and to the point — “Abbe Lowell.”
Abbe David Lowell is a defense attorney who was Chief Minority Counsel for Democratic House members during the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton as a result of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
According to The Daily Caller, which first reported on this:
It is unclear if Lowell took on the project. But the email chain suggests that he reached out that same day to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s lawyer and her chief of staff at the State Department. Lowell did not respond to a request for comment.
Reines was not the only person in the Clinton orbit to come up with the idea for a FOIA stunt.
Podesta forwarded Reines an email he received earlier that day from Steve Elmendorf, an influential Beltway lobbyist and bundler for Clinton’s campaign.
“When I worked for the leadership we had a records retention policy to actively destroy all emails after 3 or 6 months,” Elmendorf wrote.
“Reporters should be asking congress and individual members what their policy is? Do they use private accounts for biz ? Why does fioa [sic] not apply to them?”
This came out of the latest WikiLeaks document dumps of Clinton-related emails, and its founder Assange has promised to continue releasing emails until the election on November 8.
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