Rep. Elijah Cummings gives Hillary some help throwing Colin Powell under the bus
Right around the time Hillary Clinton was again being roasted about her handling of classified material at the Commander-in-Chief Forum on NBC Wednesday night, an email released by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was making the rounds on social media.
Clinton had told the FBI that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had advised her at a dinner party hosted by Madeline Albright to maintain a separate email address for personal communications.
Powell shut off questions about that “so-called dinner” pretty quickly, but House Democrats revived the subject with an email exchange between Powell and Clinton two days after she was appointed in which Powell revealed how he “got around” restrictions on carrying a PDA at the State Department.
“What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line … so I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department servers,” Powell wrote to Clinton. As far as restrictions on using a BlackBerry or PDA, Powell wrote that he “got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data.”
Shhh … don’t let Vox hear you. They’d rather not know.
It looks like it, with the caveat that there’s no mention of a dinner party or the setting up of a home-brew email server. But Powell’s warning that the State Department’s security precautions would drive Clinton crazy is just a terrible look for everyone involved.
“This email exchange shows that Secretary Powell advised Secretary Clinton with a detailed blueprint on how to skirt security rules and bypass requirements to preserve federal records,” Cummings said in a statement, “although Secretary Clinton has made clear that she did not rely on this advice.”
That’s true; Clinton went far beyond Powell’s methods and set up a private server, though which she sent all of her email, skirting the government system entirely.
So, this email released by Rep. Elijah Cummings … clears Hillary Clinton somehow?