Yesterday CNN posted the transcript of an interview of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by Brianna Keilar, CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent.
The is part of the transcript:
KEILAR: One of the issues that has eroded some trust that we’ve seen is the issue of your email practices while you were secretary of state. I think there’s a lot of people who don’t understand what your thought process was on that.
Can you tell me the story of how you decided to delete 33,000 emails and how that deletion was executed?
CLINTON: Well, let’s start from the beginning. 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. Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing. And people across the government knew that I used one device – maybe it was because I am not the most technically capable person and wanted to make it as easy as possible.
KEILAR: But you said they – that they did the same thing, that they used a personal server and –
KEILAR: – subpoena deleted emails from them?
CLINTON: You know, you’re starting with so many assumptions that are – I’ve never had a subpoena. There is – again, let’s take a deep breath here. Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation. I had one device. When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system.
Now 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 because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system.
And now I think it’s kind of fun. People get a real-time behind-the-scenes look at what I was emailing about and what I was communicating about.
KEILAR: Wearing warm socks, you said to John Podesta.
CLINTON: Exactly and – or, you know –
KEILAR: Working a fax machine –
CLINTON: – yes, a secure fax machine, which is harder to work than the regular.
So yes, this is being blown up with no basis in law or in fact. That’s fine. I get it. This is being, in effect, used by the Republicans in the Congress, OK. But I want people to understand what the truth is. And the truth is everything I did was permitted and I went above and beyond what anybody could have expected in making sure that if the State Department didn’t capture something, I made a real effort to get it to them.
And I had no obligation to do any of that. So let’s set the record straight. And those 55,000 pages, they will be released over the course of this year. People can, again, make their own judgments.
I know you say you were permitted. I just am trying to understand some of the thought process behind it. One former state attorney general, a Democrat, told CNN that they know of no lawyer who would advise someone, a client, facing the kind of scrutiny that you’ve been facing to wipe their server.
I mean, what do you say to that?
CLINTON: Well, what I say to that is turned over everything I was obligated to turn over. And then I moved on. People delete their personal emails, their work-related emails, whatever emails they have on a regular basis. I turned over everything that I could imagine.
I added the underlines and italics.
So what are the facts? The National Journal posted a picture of the subpoena that Hillary Clinton says she never got. The subpoena was sent to her in March:
The National Journal reports:
That (Hillary Clinton’s statement that she had never had a subpoena) drew a rebuke from Trey Gowdy, the GOP chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, who said the need to “correct the inaccuracy” led him to break with his practice of not releasing subpoenas the panel has issued.
“The committee immediately subpoenaed Clinton personally after learning the full extent of her unusual email arrangement with herself, and would have done so earlier if the State Department or Clinton had been forthcoming that State did not maintain custody of her records and only Secretary Clinton herself had her records when Congress first requested them,” Gowdy said in a statement.
The subpoena sought Clinton’s messages from 2011 and 2012 related to Libya and the 2012 attack on a diplomatic compound and CIA facility in Benghazi that killed four Americans.
Very few people have honorable reasons for wiping a computer hard disk clean–particularly after they have been subpoenaed.
On March 3, 2015, The Atlantic reported:
On January 13, 2009, Hillary Clinton attended her first confirmation hearing as a Secretary of State nominee. The same day, with Bush officials still under fire for using private email accounts to circumvent public records laws, someone registered Clintonemail.com, a domain that now appears to be at the center of a scandal. “Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department,” The New York Times reported in a story published late Monday. “Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.”
This was willful, flagrant disregard for public records rules.
Why does this matter? Other than the disregard for the Federal Records Act, it means that we will never have an accurate record of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. The record we do have will have omissions and changes, and we will have no way of knowing what is missing or what is edited. Evidently Mrs. Clinton did not feel that the law applied to her.