It’s Day 2 of the Hillary Clinton email scandal and the New York Times is following up yesterday’s much debated story with a ‘splainer today on how Hillary’s private email account has prevented FOIA requests from being fulfilled for years.
Mrs. Clinton’s aides on Tuesday sought to play down the significance of her exclusive use of a personal email account for State Department business. But an examination of records requests sent to the department reveals how the practice protected a significant amount of her correspondence from the eyes of investigators and the public.
Mrs. Clinton’s exclusive use of personal email for her government business is unusual for a high-level official, archive experts have said. Federal regulations, since 2009, have required that all emails be preserved as part of an agency’s record-keeping system. In Mrs. Clinton’s case, her emails were kept on her personal account and her staff took no steps to have them preserved as part of State Department record.
In response to a State Department request, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers, late last year, reviewed her account and decided which emails to turn over to the State Department.
The State Department says it will now search the 50,000 emails Mrs. Clinton provided in response to Freedom of Information and congressional requests.
But the point is that because the emails are on her private account and only she has access to them, there’s no way to know if the 50,000 emails that have been turned over are actually a complete record.
And Gabriel Malor brings up two more good points. Hillary might not have any criminal liability for using her personal email account, but we don’t know this yet:
So many unanswered questions.
Hillary, however, still has her defenders:
These Hillary fans are missing the point, too. The legality/illegality of what Hillary did is secondary. It’s becoming clear that the State Department did not comply with these FOIA requests and the way Hillary handled her emails opens her up to legitimate questions.