On Wednesday, prickly longtime Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines bridled at an accusation from Gawker that he, like Hillary staffer Huma Abedin, used a private address to handle his correspondence. He then emailed the Washington Post a lengthy and nasty letter condemning the media for their coverage of Hillary’s secret private email.
The Post, taken aback, rebutted most of Reines’ assertions – Reines said that Gawker was “creepy” in attempting to find Huma Abedin’s email address, for example, and said that there were no records of his prior rantings at the State Department because he didn’t do any of that ranting, both dubious claims at best. It then printed a response to Reines from J.K. Trotter of Gawker, dismantling Reines’ arguments. He then asked a series of questions of Reines that Reines has not answered, including the following:
Why have several FOIA requests for known email exchanges been rejected, because no records of them were found, when Clinton was secretary of state?… How many people have ClintonEmail.com addresses, and what are their names? … Did you conduct any other State Department business on an email account other than your @state.gov one?
There are a great number of outstanding questions for Hillary Clinton. Here are just a few:
Why Did Hillary Launch Her Email Address When She Did? Why did Hillary Clinton initiate her new domain the day of her Senate confirmation hearings? That looks an awful lot like intent to conceal her emails, given that she did not simply continue using an old email address. Given Hillary’s history of dicey behavior with documents and her comments in 2000 that she didn’t do email because of all of the times she’s “been investigated and all of that,” suspicion ought to be elevated.
Did Hillary Delete Emails? Why did Hillary insist on using her own server rather than a public server, as so many other Obama administration officials did? Could it be because, as Bloomberg reported, the “private email-system… gave her a high level of control over communications, including the ability to erase messages completely”?
Were Hillary’s Emails Hacked? Was it not a massive breach of security for the Obama administration, which must have known about Hillary’s email habits, to allow her to continue using her email without checking it for security? According to Bloomberg, “her consultants appear to have set it up with a misconfigured encryption system, something that left it vulnerable to hacking.” And how would we even know if Hillary’s emails had been hacked?
Why Were Hillary’s Aides Using Private Email? As Gawker points out, it is highly suspicious that not only did Hillary use ClintonEmail.com, her top aide did as well. If she were not attempting to conceal those communications, why would she ask her top aide, Huma Abedin, to join her in her private email safe room?
Why Didn’t The State Department Review Hillary’s Emails? Because Hillary used her personal email address rather than a State Department email address, the State Department had no access to her emails. So her claims to have turned over 55,000 relevant documents to the State Department ring hollow, given that according to The New York Times, “Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department.” Who were these advisers? What was their agenda? As the Times says, “How many emails were in Mrs. Clinton’s account is not clear, and neither is the process her advisers used to determine which ones related to her work at the State Department before turning them over.”
Why Didn’t The Obama Administration Make Hillary Use a Government Account? The most transparent administration in history didn’t see a reason to make Hillary Clinton use a government email account in accordance with law. Jason Baron, former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration, points out, “I can recall no instance in my time at the National Archives when a high-ranking official at an executive branch agency solely used a personal email account for the transaction of government business.” The Obama administration has refused comment, although they must have been on the other end of those emails.
Does Hillary Have Other Email Accounts? On Wednesday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said Clinton used “more than one” private email account while at the State Department, although her lawyer said she used only one. Jamal Ware, communications director for the Select Committee on Benghazi, said, “the Select Committee on Benghazi is in possession of records with two separate and distinct email addresses used by former Secretary Clinton and dated during the time she was Secretary of State.” He added, “Without access to the relevant electronic information and stored data on the server — which was reportedly registered to her home — there is no way the Committee, or anyone else, can fully explain why the Committee uncovered two email addresses.”
Hillary was right to fear the scrutiny of the public. That’s why she used a private email address. The biggest question remains: what, exactly, was she hiding?
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.