Hillary Clinton and her team insist that the State Department Inspector General report vindicates all her excuses over the use of her private e-mail server. The Associated Press fact-check this afternoon insists that it exposes her lies. Well, they call it “misstated key facts.” To-may-to, to-mah-to …
Over the months, Hillary Clinton misstated key facts about her use of private email and her own server for her work as secretary of state, the department’s inspector general reported this week.
According to the findings, she claimed approval she didn’t have and declined to be interviewed for the report despite saying “I’m more than ready to talk to anybody anytime.” Scrutiny of her unusual email practices appeared to be unwelcome, despite her contention those practices were well known and “fully above board.”
The first lie — misstated key fact — addressed by the AP is Hillary’s claim that the e-mail server was secure. Brian Fallon and the State Department tried doubling down on that Wednesday by claiming that the IG report concluded it had never been hacked, but that was doubly false. The IG couldn’t determine whether anyone successfully penetrated it, but the report notes that several attempts did get made, and that her security was slipshod and failed to meet State Department standards.
When the question first arose, Hillary claimed the server was secured because the house had Secret Service protection. The AP’s Lisa Lerer and Catherine Lucey handle that one rather drily:
The Associated Press has previously reported that, according to detailed records compiled in 2012, Clinton’s server was connected to the internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers. It appeared to allow users to connect openly over the internet to control it remotely.
Moreover, it’s unclear what protection her email system might have achieved from having the Secret Service guard the property. Digital security breaches tend to come from computer networks, not over a fence.
That one’s right up there with, “Wiped? … You mean, like with a cloth?”
Among the other lies misstated facts skewered by the fact check:
- Everyone else did it, so it must have been allowed — Team Hillary has been throwing Colin Powell under the bus so often, he must feel as though the tire treads have been etched into his back. Lerer and Lucey note that the report does scold Powell for his use of personal e-mail, but his was not exclusive, nor did he set up his own private e-mail server to transmit all of his email communications.
- Everyone knew I did it — No, they didn’t. Some were aware that she emailed from a private account, but almost no one knew that she used it exclusively, including for all official purposes.
- I turned in my e-mails as part of a project to bring State records up to date with all former Secretaries of State — The efforts at State was prompted by the exposure of Hillary’s secret e-mail server, not the other way around. Furthermore, the IG noted that officials at State had repeatedly raised concerns about the Federal Records Act, FOIA, and Congressional oversight specifically to Hillary’s private e-mail. They were rewarded with a warning “never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again.” I wonder why that would be? It certainly wasn’t because Hillary was just like all of her predecessors.
- I’m more than ready to talk to anyone anytime! —… says the woman who refused to speak with the Inspector General about her e-mail system. Lerer and Lucey offer this hopeful note: “But she has said she will speak to the FBI as part of a separate criminal investigation…” Well, that’s what she says now. Just like she said it before. And I’ve also got a football you can kick, too.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza also scoffs that Hillary’s new defenses are substantially different than the lies AP details. What Hillary told Univision is “not borne out by the facts,” which is yet another polite way of saying she’s lying:
“What Secretary Clinton said there is not entirely accurate frankly. There are just facts that we know that have been unearthed by the independent—the independent inspector general’s office, and there’s an FBI investigation into her email set up. This is not just partisans talking back and forth.”
That’s precisely the point I made in my column yesterday for The Fiscal Times. As far as talking with the FBI, the conclusion gives my prediction for that:
What happens if the FBI investigation goes to a grand jury? We might have the spectacle of a major-party nominee getting subpoenaed to testify in a criminal inquiry – and taking the Fifth to avoid self-incrimination. And that might be the most honest statement that Clinton would have made about her secret e-mail server in the past fifteen months.