Clinton subjected to a different standard
GEORGE E. CURRY | 6/6/2016, 8:32 a.m.
(EmergeNewsOnline.com) – In the larger scheme of things, the long-awaited 83-page report on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server by the State Department’s inspector general was no where as damming as the media circus surrounding its release would lead you to believe.
Clearly, she made some poor decisions – which she took far too long to acknowledge – and she ignored repeated suggestions that she dump the private server, with one staffer being sternly told not to bring up the subject again.
A column in Forbes by Charles Tiefer places the controversy in its proper context.
He wrote, “[The report] does not add any new serious charges or adverse facts. And, it shows she was less out of line with her predecessors, notably Colin Powell, than has been charged.”
Tierfer continued, “… To the extent that she is criticized because ‘she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act,’ the report is making a legal judgment that is not particularly strong. Note how she is not labeled as violating any statute, but rather, a real mouthful of mush – ‘the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.’ So we are talking about obscure, dull, bureaucratic policies. Not a criminal statute. Not even a civil statute – just the bureaucratic policies.
“A report that says so little new against Clinton, amounts to a vindication.”
But you wouldn’t know it by all the “breaking news” stories on cable television, or the newspaper coverage, for that matter.
The Washington Post published a blistering editorial under the headline, “Clinton’s inexcusable, willful disregard for the rules.”
The editorial began, “Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 has been justifiably criticized as an error of judgment. What the new report from the State Department inspector general makes clear is that it also was not a casual oversight. Ms. Clinton had plenty of warnings to use official government communications methods, so as to make sure that her records were properly preserved and to minimize cybersecurity risks. She ignored them.”
Keep in mind, as CNN observed, “Experts have said it doesn’t appear Clinton violated federal laws.”
Let’s contrast that to far more serious misconduct during the George W. Bush administration. In 2007, it was disclosed that the Bush administration had created a private internet domain called gwb43.com (for George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. president) on which they were conducting official government business.
Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff, reportedly used the private account to conduct 95 percent of his communications, ostensibly political matters forbidden by federal law. The account was controlled by the Republican National Committee. Under federal law, the White House is required to maintain all records pertaining to presidential decision-making.
The existence of the server became public when it was discovered that J. Scott Jennings, the White House deputy director of political affairs, had used the account to discuss the firing of one of eight U.S. attorneys dismissed for political reasons.