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Clinton Spox Fallon: ‘I Don’t Know What Wiped Means’

Hillary for America Press Secretary Brian Fallon declared, “I don’t know what wiped means” when asked whether Clinton turned over the “wiped server” to the DOJ on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Wolf.”

Fallon was asked, “You said that she’s done everything to be transparent, but I personally asked her about deleting her emails, how she came to that decision, how it was executed. That was two months ago. She has — she did not answer that question when I asked, and she hasn’t answered it since. How is that transparent?

Fallon responded, “I disagree with that, Brianna we’ve been pretty clear, and actually all that information is posted on our website. She’s answered it when it’s been asked on the trail. After she turned over all 55,000 pages of her emails that could have even been remotely deemed work-related, they made the decision to not retain any of her emails. That was her decision to make with respect –.”

Host Brianna Keilar then cut in to ask why Clinton decided to delete the emails, and “how was that process executed? It’s not even clear to us who went through the emails. It’s not clear what the actual timeline for when those were deleted — we’ve sort of gotten a range, but it’s kind of vague.”

Fallon answered, “So, 55,000 pages of work-related emails, after a very laborious process that was conducted by her legal team, they did extensive keyword searches, they went email by email, anything that was even deemed remotely related as work-based was handed over to the State Department.”

Keilar then cut in to ask if it was “just her legal team” or “Was she involved or her aides involved?” Fallon responded, “I don’t know what you mean by her aides. She has personal attorneys that are well known. They’ve been quoted in the press, that handled the process of sorting through the emails. David Kendall, Cheryl Mills, her personal attorneys that are — Cheryl, who’s testifying — or giving an interview today on Capitol Hill. The personal emails, the ones that were personal in nature, were hers to do with what she wanted, and quite understandably, I think the public agrees that even politicians and public officials are entitled to a zone of privacy.”

Keilar then wondered why any emails would be deleted given that the Clintons were under scrutiny. Fallon said, “She provided 55,000 pages of emails. It’s true that she provided them in hard copy. That’s what the law required. If the law — or the State Department had asked for them to be provided electronically, we would have done that. The law required them to be provided in paper form. She made the decision after that to not retain those, other than a copy that was kept –.”

Fallon was then asked why Clinton did this. He explained, “It wasn’t kept on the server, Brianna, but a copy was kept by her personal attorney.” Keilar again asked, “Why didn’t she keep them on the server?” Fallon stated, “I don’t know what the relevant — the pertinence of that would have been. She did keep a copy of it in the possession — an electronic copy in the possession of her lawyer.” And “the same emails were kept, an electronic copy of them were kept by David Kendall, and then last month we provided them to the Justice Department, so no emails were lost in this process. I think that people are focusing on the wrong thing. The State Department had them last month in paper copy, and then last month, the Justice Department received an electronic copy.”

When asked if the electronic copy contained the actual emails with metadata, or in pdf form, Kendall responded, “So, the Justice Department, in addition to having the electronic form of the pdfs that [were] provided to the State Department, they also now have the server. So, I don’t know what the FBI’s going to do with it, but they may very seek to –.”

Keilar then cut in, “The wiped server. The wiped server, right, Brian?” He answered, “I don’t know what wiped means. There’s — the emails were deleted.”

Keilar continued, “You said that David Kendall had the electronic copies of the emails. Those were pdf copies, right? And I ask you this because I’ve tried to get this answered and I haven’t been able to. These were not the actual emails that had the metadata. These were not the emails as you would see them on a server if they hadn’t been — do you see what I’m saying?”

Fallon responded that these copies were “pdfs on a thumb drive,” but he didn’t see the point of this distinction. Keilar pointed out that there’s “more information” and that a judge has said Cheryl Mills shouldn’t delete emails. Fallon protested that Mills was a “separate case,” and he wasn’t sure why Keilar was asking about it. Keilar maintained, “it follows certain standards of preservation.”

Fallon countered, “she’s followed every request. The state department asked for emails in paper form, she provided them. The Justice Department asked for them in electronic form, pdfs on a thumb drive, she provided them, and she’s also provided the server. There’s been no — I don’t know what wiped means. Literally, the emails were deleted off of the server, that’s true, but it’s quite possible, I don’t know that any steps were taken to remove any metadata. So, to the extent that there is a further inquiry with respect to the server, they won’t find anything other than what we’ve already represented, which is that all the work-related emails were turned over, and, in fact, Hillary Clinton herself, has signed a declaration asserting that. So, even if somehow they were able to look at any of the emails that have — that were not retained, they wouldn’t find anything than what we’ve always said, which is that all the work-related emails are in the possession of the State department already.”

At the beginning of the interview, Fallon said of Bryan Pagliano’s decision to plead the 5th Amendment in front of the Benghazi Select Committee, “he’s not a part of the campaign. He’s a private citizen, and so we can’t require him to do anything. He’s represented by his own lawyer. All we can do is give the same advice, and recommendation, and encouragement as Hillary Clinton has done with all of her aides, current and former. You mentioned Cheryl Mills, she’s testifying at a long session today with the Benghazi Committee, Jake Sullivan, her former deputy chief of staff from the State Department is testifying tomorrow. She’s personally testifying herself in October. I believe there will probably be other aides that come forward and are willing to answer questions. So, in every instance so far, she’s encouraged everyone to cooperate, because we want to make every good faith effort to be transparent and answer any questions people have. But with Mr. Pagliano, we encouraged him as well, because we don’t think he has any reason to not be transparent about the help that he provided from an IT perspective, but, unfortunately, it’s his choice what to do, and I think that — I can’t speak for him, but I can only speculate — and from the words that have leaked out from the letter, that his attorney sent to Capitol Hill, it suggests that he was afraid of being caught in a partisan swirl, that now consumes three different committees on Capitol Hill, where Republicans are trying to take this fact-finding expedition into a partisan exercise meant to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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