Who will Hillary Clinton blame now?
That was my first reaction to this New York Times story:
Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.
The answer came quickly (that's why they call it "rapid response") from campaign spokesman Nick Merrill.
"Contrary to the initial story, which has already been significantly revised, she followed appropriate practices in dealing with classified materials. As has been reported on multiple occasions, any released emails deemed classified by the administration have been done so after the fact, and not at the time they were transmitted."
She's blaming The New York Times, which is as pathetic as it is laughable. Post-production revisions of online and wire-service stories are standard practice after the parties involve respond. Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Times reporter Michael Schmidt called the revision minor without detailing it. Politico's Dylan Byers described the "small but significant changes." Here's all you need to know: The Clinton campaign doesn't—and can't—deny the nut of this story. Two Obama administration inspectors general want an investigation into whether her personal email system contributed to the release of classified information.
A rogue email system that:
—violated clear White House policy.
—shielded her work from congressional oversight, media inquiries, or any accountability.
—contributed to a conspiracy of secrecy worthy of criminal inquiry. This from the Times:
On Monday, a federal judge sharply questioned State Department lawyers at a hearing in Washington about why they had not responded to Freedom of Information Act requests from The Associated Press, some of which were four years old.
"I want to find out what's been going on over there—I should say, what's not been going on over there," said Judge Richard J. Leon of United States District Court, according to a transcript obtained by Politico. The judge said that "for reasons known only to itself," the State Department "has been, to say the least, recalcitrant in responding."
When she's not blaming the media, Republicans, bureaucrats, and technology—everything and anything, except the dog who ate her email—Clinton is destroying her credibility.
"There is no classified material," she said. Wrong.
"Everything I did was permitted," she said. Wrong.
"People should and do trust me," she said. Wrong and wrong. A majority of people don't trust Clinton, because a majority of people aren't blindly loyal to her or on her payroll.
Most people can sift through the spin, the lies, and the parsing to see the bottom line: She secreted and deleted her email for reasons we may never know. And she's blaming everybody but the only person responsible for this mess, the only person who can clean it up: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
NOTE: Initial story referred to DOJ guidance on a "criminal referal." DOJ later said it's not a criminal referal. Bottom line is that it would take a DOJ investigation to who compromised classified information and whether a crime was committed.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.