Did you feel like you got the answers you wanted from Hillary’s press conference? Probably not. Virtually nobody else seems happy:
- Republicans say Hillary Clinton’s press conference ‘raised more questions than it answered’ (businessinsider.com)
- Clinton’s message to voters is, ‘Trust me.’ Will they listen? (washingtonpost.com)
- Clinton Deleted “Personal” Emails Following Opaque Review Process (buzzfeed.com)
- Trey Gowdy: ‘Clinton has created more questions than answers’ (politico.com)
And on and on and on.
So are you looking forward to the next round of questions and disclosures? Don’t. It will not happen. I know you want to learn some fact or clue that will contradict her statements and prove, well, I’m not sure what, but something bad. Maybe the servers were hacked by China. Maybe the emails she kept back from State would hurt her election prospects. Maybe she schemed against the interests of America. You never know what you’ll catch when you go fishing.
But here’s the thing: Hillary Clinton has figured out the absolute minimum she was required to do and the least she has to explain. She’s fulfilled those obligations and made those explanations. All her pieces are in position now, and it’s checkmate in 3.
Her position is defensible: She supplied the State Department with printed copies of all (so decided by her) relevant emails. She has explained how every aspect of it was logical and legal. She did it for convenience sake. She says she has complied with all relevant laws and rules. She has indicated that the system was secure and never held classified information.
If you don’t believe it, I feel for you. I too find the explanation lacking. Is there a weakness you can exploit? No, there is not.
Here’s the most important line in the press conference: “At the end, I chose not to keep my private personal emails.” The precise phraseology of “at the end” here means only one thing: someone has taken a sledgehammer to the server — or specifically its disk drives — and littered the fragmentary remains in the Hudson river. All emails, in electronic format, are irretrievably lost.
The paper copies given over are the only thing that’s left of her emails. That’s why you have to ask State for them. What she destroyed, she was under no obligation to keep. What she was obligated to keep, she handed over to the custody of the State Department.
So ask whatever else you wish. Try to prove anything. The answers are going to be exactly the same every time. There is nothing else she can say, or provide in response to subpoena because there is nothing left of that the email system. She’s explained it all. The press will get tired of asking shortly, because they know there’s no way to learn anything else, and that cannot prove there is anything else to learn.
The GOP can try, through its powers in Congress. But about the third time the Gowdy asks for the same thing, and is told, for the third time, it does not exist or the question can no longer be answered, Hillary will be able to make the case that it’s a baseless witchhunt. The GOP will have to give up at risk of scoring too many own goals.
Either she was perfectly innocent, or it was the perfect crime, but either way, Hillary’s chess game was perfect.