There have been dozens upon dozens of blog posts, columns and news stories on Hillary Clinton's press conference over her emails, so I don't have much to add. Most of what I would say has already been written by people far more capable than me. But, with that being said, I do have some problems with Hillary's explanation -- yes, she did answer some questions and put some of the speculation to rest, but her presser does not at all put this email nonsense to bed.
A couple of her answers were a little hard to believe, while others will fuel the kind of questions that Hillary and her team would prefer not be asked. Here are a few (I'm taking the quotes from this transcript of the news conference from The Washington Post).
Quote #1: "[W]hen I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two."
I might be reading too much into this specific remark, but it doesn't take a tech genius to know that you can have multiple email accounts on a single device (Yahoo News' Olivier Knox was the first to tweet this out). If a person needed two phones to have two email addresses, then I could understand this explanation: no one wants to walk around like an idiot with multiple phones falling out of their pockets. But this simply isn't the case. Hillary was obviously a prolific emailer, but she doesn't need more than one phone to use more than one email address -- she could use her same device regardless. I'm not sure her "convenience" argument washes.
Quote #2: "When the search was conducted, we were asking that any email be identified and preserved that could potentially be federal records, and that's exactly what we did."
It would be nice to just assume that Hillary Clinton is an honest-Abe politician, that she complied with the law completely and without any discretion, and that all of her work-related files were transferred to the State Department when they were requested last year. But, like plenty of Americans, I personally don't trust politicians to disclose the full truth. I obviously have no earthly idea whether Hillary deliberately kept any embarrassing or potentially scandalous emails from being sent to the State Department -- nor can I say that there are even any emails like this in her inbox. But this isn't necessarily the point: the point is that the public cannot verify her comments one way or the other. It was be the height of folly to simply take her word for it that she fully complied.
Quote #3: "[T]he way the system works, the federal employee, the individual, whether they have one device, two devices, three devices, how many addresses, they make the decision. So, even if you have a work-related device with a work-related .gov account, you choose what goes on that. That is the way our system works. And so we trust and count on the judgment of thousands, maybe millions of people to make those decisions."
It may be true that there is universal guidance to all federal government employees, and that all federal employees are to abide by the same set of rules, but Hillary Clinton is not a typical federal employee. Rather, she is the undisputed presidential candidate for the Democratic Party for 2016, and is leading all other candidates -- Republican and Democrat -- for the job in every poll that's been conducted. All presidential candidates - not just Hillary Clinton - should be given a higher standard than the average mid-level bureaucrat. The fact that she is not accepting an independent arbiter to ensure that all work-related emails have indeed been sent to Foggy Bottom illustrates that Clinton doesn't believe she needs to meet a higher standard.
Hilary Clinton's basic argument is this: I fully complied with the law, I turned over everything that needed to be turned over under the law, and the American people should believe me. I suspect the American people will find that difficult to do.
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