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Yet Again, Friends, Into The Clinton Email Rut We Go

Judicial Watch's never-ending Clinton witch hunt and the House Republican Benghazi Committee are both exercises in partisan futility. The Committee is over, but the emails are not.
Yet Again, Friends, Into The Clinton Email Rut We Go

The House Benghazi Committee finally released its report, and as expected, it contains no new revelations; no smoking gun that would end Hillary Clinton's Presidential run.

Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.

Never has so much taxpayer money been expended in preventing one person from running for President. And they failed. Unfortunately, they won't stop trying.

Yesterday, our friends at Judicial Watch implied that they had the Clinton smoking gun in their latest FOIA document dump. They released 165 pages from yet another FOIA lawsuit, this one related to Huma Abedin emails not using a State email address.

The smoking gun is supposedly several emails from Hillary Clinton that were not included in the 55,000 pages of released emails, including one where she's unsure of how personal and official files are handled. She sent the email to Abedin, and Lauren Jiloty.

Dear Lauren and Huma—

I have just realized I have no idea how my papers are treated at State. Who manages both my personal and official files?

I am sending out material the way I did w Lauren in the Senate, but I don’t know what’s happening w it all. For instance, I’ve sent a few things to Cheryl but she says she hasn’t read them. Does Claire manage this or does it all go to Joe? Are there personal files as well as official ones set up? If I don’t write anything on paper – as I mostly don’t – Lauren knew how to file it all in the Senate. I’m sending out a mix which sometimes Claire and other times Lauren picks up from the out box. What happens then is a mystery to me!

So, I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want. Let me know what you both think. Thx.


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The Freedom of Information Act does not demand that officials keep all records, but only records related to the duties of the office or position holder. You don't need to keep emails about what you had at lunch, or if your kid is feeling sick.

This email, this smoking gun, as JW has named it, is nothing more than Hillary Clinton being unsure of how her papers are being maintained at State. It is indirectly related to her tenure at State, true, but it isn't directly related to her State duties. It contains no information relevant to the State Department. It doesn't even contain information relevant to how one does State business. This is Secretary Clinton asking assistants how her files, personal or otherwise, are managed—especially as they are compared to how they were handled when she was in the Senate.

I looked through the rest of the JW "treasure trove." In most instances, the emails that Secretary Clinton sent were those she received from a State employee. Before I touch on them, first, a little context. We already strongly suspect, from bits and pieces we've picked up over time (hopefully to be confirmed in Huma Abedin's Judicial Watch deposition Tuesday), that there was an assumption in Secretary Clinton's camp that all State emails were somehow automatically maintained for FOIA purposes. We've seen the evidence of Secretary Clinton's own belief in this, when she would forward emails she received to people at State...even those people who were originally on the CC list for the emails.

In the latest JW email dump, Secretary Clinton's sent emails consisting of a note that she's home in New York (and very happy to be home), that lunch sounds good, that she will make calls, and several had just two words:

Pls Print.

It is hard for me to see a "smoking gun" in such a simple and innocuous phrase. But then, I look at these emails, not as a person desperate to present any information about Clinton in the worst possible light, but as a reasonable human being.

I think to myself that if I, a reasonable human being, am asked to maintain work records, and I'm assuming that email to and from others in my Department is being automatically maintained by the Department, would I keep copies of an email just because I forwarded said email with the words, "Pls Print".

Pls Print.

It adds nothing of substance, it implies nothing of thought or process, or direction of significant action, and gives no relevant information. It is the equivalent of pulling down a menu and selecting Print as an option.

But let's not abandon the phrase before we've given it due diligence. In honor of the report from the eighth, and hopefully final, Benghazi investigation, let's repeat the phrase eight times.

Pls Print. Pls Print. Pls Print.

Pls Print.

Pls Print. Pls Print.

Pls Print.

Pls Print.

Sadly, repetition does not generate additional wisdom, nor give us any particular insight.

I grow weary of these "revelations". They have blurred into a continuous stream of "Hark! Clinton emails!", to the point where they've worn a rut into the American consciousness. And that's the purpose...to keep the noise level constant, to never let us take a breath without once being bombarded by another "revelation".

Frankly, if coverage of the "revelations" was primarily restricted to the circle of publications that includes Fox News, Daily Caller, Breitbart, the New York Post, Washington Times, and the Wall Street Journal, I would let the story pass. Readers of these publications already travel in a rut too deep to escape, and all we can do is watch them spin helplessly. Maybe toss them a crust from time to time, out of pity.

But these stories invariably end up in the more mainstream, supposedly "neutral", Press—in publications like the Chicago Tribune, or PBS—thanks primarily to the AP. The same AP that has indulged in a little Secretary Clinton FOIA lawsuit dance of its own.

So here we are again, in the pages of this publication, debunking yet another story about yet another Clinton email revelation, demonstrating, once again, that the smoking gun is nothing but a cap pistol.

If we're going to travel a rut, then let it be one we create.

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