Media Matters founder and chairman David Brock maintained there was “no issue” and no oversight problems with Hillary Clinton’s emails on Wednesday’s “MSNBC Live.”
“I don’t think she was operating without oversight. What we know here is that the relevant statutes were complied with. The state department said yesterday that 55,000 pages of e-mails were turned over late last year in compliance with that law. And the vast majority of those e-mails the state department had access to for years. So, there’s really not a question of proper oversight here. Everything was done properly. the problem we have is a manufactured controversy in the media, which started with yesterday’s New York Times and continues with some of the media reports today, unfortunately” he stated.
Host Thomas Roberts then asked “so you don’t think it’s of any alarm that a cabinet-level official runs their own email operation out of their private home, through their personal account, with no oversight from the president? That’s not a problem?”
Brock responded, “I don’t know why that would be a problem. I don’t think it’s material.”
Roberts continued to press the oversight issue, to which Brock stated “I don’t understand what you’re saying about oversight,” and then said that Hillary had turned most her e-mails over.
Roberts then countered “well, the e-mails she wants to give up. If you have your own server in your house, you can control then, what you release to the State Department as they’re trying to retain 55,000 emails they may or may not have.”
Brock continued, “in my view, what’s important is that the law was complied with. All of these e-mails, the 55,000 pages, were turned over. Another point at the State Department briefing yesterday, was that the vast majority of those e-mails were in the State Department for years. So, I don’t understand the question about oversight. I think that the law was complied with.”
Brock also said that the Times’ source, attorney Jason Baron, had said Clinton didn’t break the law (although, he is also quoted by Reuters as saying that “the sole use of a private email account by a high-level official to transact government business is plainly inconsistent with the Federal Records Act and longstanding policies of the National Archives.”
Roberts later asked “for an administration that sold transparency, and saying it’s the most transparent administration in modern times. Does this put a blemish and bruise on that because of the fact the Obama administration was allowing a cabinet member official to run their own e-mail operation with their own server? That means they can pick and choose what they make public record.”
Brock then argued, “I understand, but all the relevant email, all the pertinent email has been turned over.”
When asked how he knew this, Brock replied, “that’s what the State Department said.”
Roberts then wondered “how do they know what they don’t even know?”
Brock concluded the discussion by stating “do you know how the Federal Records Act actually works? It’s up to the head of the agency to decide what’s relevant. That’s what the law is.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett