One thing that needs to be emphasized given the slant of the stories we are seeing and hearing today is that the hardware was turned over to the Department of Justice, not to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. There is a big difference. It is not that she has finally turned over the server and flash drive, as so many are saying (implying that she has relented to the demands of Trey Gowdy & Co.). She has turned them over to DOJ in a most timely fashion as and when asked, i.e. immediately. There is a difference between the GOP and the DOJ.
Hillary has not given the hardware to Trey Gowdy (much to his consternation) or to any elected officials. Republicans have been pursuing a political agenda ever since those on the Select Committee relinquished their appointed task. Preventing Hillary Clinton from assuming political office is, to them, of far greater import and urgency than finding the security gaps that need to be closed to prevent another Benghazi.
In simple language that any fifth-grader should be able to understand, Jennifer Palmieri’s email answers pretty much every question you might have about the news that has obsessed the media today.
You might hear some news over the next few days about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Because you are an important part of this team, we wanted to take a few minutes to talk through the facts — we need your help to make sure they get out there.
There’s a lot of misinformation, so bear with us; the truth matters on this.
Here are the basics: Like other Secretaries of State who served before her, Hillary used a personal email address, and the rules of the State Department permitted it. She’s already acknowledged that, in hindsight, it would have been better just to use separate work and personal email accounts. No one disputes that.
The State Department’s request: Last year, as part of a review of its records, the State Department asked the last four former Secretaries of State to provide any work-related emails they had. Hillary was the only former Secretary of State to provide any materials — more than 30,000 emails. In fact, she handed over too many — the Department said it will be returning over 1,200 messages to her because, in their and the National Archives’ judgment, these messages were completely personal in nature.
Hillary didn’t send any classified materials over email: Hillary only used her personal account for unclassified email. No information in her emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them. She viewed classified materials in hard copy in her office or via other secure means while traveling, not on email.
What makes it complicated: It’s common for information previously considered unclassified to be upgraded to classified before being publicly released. Some emails that weren’t secret at the time she sent or received them might be secret now. And sometimes government agencies disagree about what should be classified, so it isn’t surprising that another agency might want to conduct its own review, even though the State Department has repeatedly confirmed that Hillary’s emails contained no classified information at the time she sent or received them.
To be clear, there is absolutely no criminal inquiry into Hillary’s email or email server. Any and all reports to that effect have been widely debunked. Hillary directed her team to provide her email server and a thumb drive in order to cooperate with the review process and to ensure these materials were stored in a safe and secure manner.
What about the Benghazi committee? While you may hear from the Republican-led Benghazi committee about Hillary’s emails, it is important to remember that the committee was formed to focus on learning lessons from Benghazi to help prevent future tragedies at our embassies and consulates around the globe. Instead, the committee, led by Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, is spending nearly $6 million in taxpayer money to conduct a partisan witch-hunt designed to do political damage to Hillary in the run-up to the election.
Hillary has remained absolutely committed to cooperating. That’s why, just as she gave her email server to the government, she’s also testifying before the Benghazi committee in October and is actively working with the Justice Department to make sure they have what they need. She hopes that her emails will continue to be released in a timely fashion.
It’s worth noting: Many of the Republican candidates for president have done the same things for which they’re now criticizing Hillary. As governor, Jeb Bush owned his own private server and his staff decided which emails he turned over as work-related from his private account. Bobby Jindal went a step further, using private email to communicate with his immediate staff but refusing to release his work-related emails. Scott Walker and Rick Perry had email issues themselves.
The bottom line: Look, this kind of nonsense comes with the territory of running for president. We know it, Hillary knows it, and we expect it to continue from now until Election Day.
It’s okay. We’ll be ready. We have the facts, our principles, and you on our side. And it’s vital that you read and absorb the real story so that you know what to say the next time you hear about this around the dinner table or the water cooler.
Take a look at more details here, including a complete Q&A, and pass them along:
Hillary for America
Here is the Recommended Reading. I know a lot of people prefer the quick inoculation of a poster or video. I also know that serious Hillary loyalists take the time to read, study and prepare. It is a battle out there. Be armed with the facts!
Hillary Clinton has complied with every reasonable request, is cooperating fully, and has nothing to hide from her government, Trey Gowdy, or the American people.