May 27, 2016

The Clinton Emails: That’s it?

By Glenn

Article I, section 9 No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

This simple phrase is a crucial feature of the America legal system.  Individuals can not be accused of a crime or violation of policy if the law or policy did not exists at the time.  The United State Constitution requires a law to exist before it can be broken.  The manufactured allegations against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton violate this principle.

From 2008 to 2012 Clinton used a private email server and then printed those records after leaving office.  The preservation of these records meet, in fact, the standards and practices that existed at the time.  Subsequently, the federal government raised the bar.   The Secretary herself has said that, in hindsight, she could have done better.

In 2009, IRM introduced SMART throughout the Department, enabling employees to preserve a record copy of emails through their Department email accounts without having to print and file them. However, the Office of the Secretary elected not to use SMART to preserve emails, in part because of concerns that the system would allow overly broad access to sensitive materials. As a result, printing and filing remained the only method by which emails could properly be preserved within the Office of the Secretary in full compliance with existing FAM guidance.  In August 2012, OMB and NARA issued a memorandum requiring agencies to eliminate paper recordkeeping and manage all email records in an electronic format by December 31, 2016. [Warning PDF]
The report makes clear that, unlike Secretary Collin Powell, Clinton did save, print and give to the State Department over 55,000 pages of business related emails.  What then is the “damning” conclusion of this report?
At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.
That’s it?  Secretary Clinton created copies of emails by sending them TO State Department addresses, and she didn’t turn over the emails BEFORE leaving the Department.   She turned them over AFTER leaving office.  In the words of Bernie Sanders “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails. Enough of the emails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.”
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