Flashback: Hillary Knew Email Could Be Trouble During Investigations

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

We’re up to the point in the great Hillary email “mystery” where we’ve caught Clinton standing over the body of Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with a candlestick in her hand, and her defenders still want to pretend there could have been innocent reasons for that private server humming away in her basement. (Are we finished with the silly attempts to get Clinton off the hook by whining about Republicans in not-remotely-comparable situations using private email in addition to their government accounts?)

Buzzfeed dug up another bit of evidence that Hillary perfectly understood the value of having an off-the-books mail system: a 2001 report from ABC News which included a home-video clip of Clinton at dinner, explaining that she didn’t want to use email because it could cause trouble during investigations.

The moment comes about three and a half minutes into the segment, when Clinton declares, “As much as I’ve been investigated and all of that, you know, why would I… I don’t even want… why would I ever want to do email?”

Buzzfeed explains the context of the clip: “The homemade movie clip that revealed the anecdote was in an ABC report about accusations by a Hollywood multimillionaire of ‘aggressive fundraiser practice’ by the Clintons. The homemade video of Clinton was a fundraiser for her 2000 Senate campaign.”

It would be safe to bet that many politicians have expressed reservations about using email, which is so much harder to get rid of than sheets of paper or unrecorded phone conversations.  That’s why the attempts to protest Clinton’s innocence are so ridiculous – as she’s noting in this clip, she and Bill have seen their share of investigations in the past, and would clearly appreciate the value of avoiding automatically-archived, FOIA- and subpoena-responsive government mail systems. Clintonistas will of course insist that she meant she had been investigated unfairly, and worried that politically-motivated prosecutions would pluck details from her pure and innocent electronic correspondence to harass her, but there’s no way to maintain the aura of feigned innocence while making that case.

The only thing left for Clinton’s defenders is to concoct an argument that Hillary thought her private mail server would be more secure than the State Department system she was supposed to use. I would suggest they think long and hard before deploying that excuse, because we don’t know much about the security capabilities of her mail server yet, it would hardly excuse her evasion of record-keeping requirements… and it would be a rather devastating criticism of the Big Government Democrats are supposed to revere, wouldn’t it?

The State Department system is so lame Hillary knew it was better to whip up her own server, without saying anything official or public about the perceived vulnerability of that enormously expensive government network? Do you really want to go with that after years of Obama Administration debacles like HealthCareDotGov, kids?