Tag Archives: e-mails

Come clean, now, on e-mail issue

FBI Director James Comey has told only part of an on-going story regarding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton.

He has left the most important part of it out. Comey very well might be keeping secrets from the public. He needs — immediately! — to finish telling this tale.

Comey announced today that he has uncovered more e-mails that Clinton sent out on her personal server while she was secretary of state. Perhaps you’ve heard about these e-mails.

Comey then said they might amount to nothing, or they might be important.

Which is it, Mr. Director?

Eleven days before a presidential election, Comey has tossed a serious pile of goo into this contest.

Clinton happens to be correct to demand that he let the public know all the facts regarding the e-mails. No delay. No hanging cloud. No suspicion.

He has determined once already that he had no grounds to seek a criminal indictment. Now this?

Let’s clear the air. Now.

Flash, GOP: Hillary didn’t commit any crimes

FILE-In this Jan. 24, 2014 file photo, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is seen at the RNC winter meeting in Washington. Having fallen short twice recently, Ohio is making a big push to land the 2016 Republican National Convention with three cities bidding as finalists, eager to reassert its Midwestern political clout to a party that may be slowly moving away from it. In interviews, RNC chairman Reince Priebus and members of the selection committee including chairwoman Enid Mickelsen downplayed swing state status as a top factor in their decision, emphasizing that having at least $55 million in private fundraising, as well as hotel space and creating a good "delegate experience" were more important. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said it again this morning.

Hillary Rodham Clinton committed crimes while she was secretary of state, he told Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.” The Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, he said, is a criminal over her use of a personal e-mail server. He said Clinton sent “highly classified” material out on that server, implying I guess that the material could have fallen into enemy hands.

I expressed long ago some concern over the use of the personal server. Secretaries of state or anyone charged with handling top-secret material need to ensure it’s distributed along highly encrypted channels.

Now, did she commit a crime?

Let’s see. The FBI investigated this matter thoroughly. The agency is run by a Republican, a guy named James Comey, who is as thorough an investigator as they come. He’s also a former federal prosecutor. The man knows the law.

Comey completed his probe and delivered a scathing rebuke of what Clinton did, how she handled the material through the personal server. Comey didn’t like what he found — and he said so! He described Clinton’s use of the personal server as “reckless.”

Then he also said that Clinton didn’t commit an offense for which she could be prosecuted.

End … of … story.

But wait!

Comey also gave the Republican Party a bottomless supply of ammo to fire at Clinton. He’s given the GOP plenty of grounds — or pretexts, if you will — to keep harping about the e-mail issue.

The GOP chairman this morning continued his party’s political attack.

Hillary Clinton, though, is not a criminal.

Should ‘short-circuited’ remain a talking point?


A former colleague of mine scolded me once a few weeks ago over my criticism of Donald J. Trump’s gaffe when he referred the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians as “2 Corinthians.”

My critic reminded me that people who speak for a living could be excused for saying things improperly on occasion. He made an interesting and thought-provoking point.

So, I’m left to wonder about Trump’s opponent in the presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who said she “short-circuited” when answering questions about the e-mail controversy that continues to dog her.

She’s been pilloried for the statement by her foes, led by Trump, who’s now questioning whether Clinton’s got the intellectual snap she needs to be president of the United States.

Trump and Clinton will square off soon in the first of three joint appearances. It’s seems a good bet that Trump will bring up the “short-circuited” comment. He’s hired a new campaign CEO and manager, both of whom vow to “let Trump be Trump.”

Is the criticism of Clinton fair? Or did she — as a politician who makes her living these days talking constantly — merely say something in a less-than-artful manner?

As my ex-colleague/critic reminded me: He knows “how easy it is to say something wrong and even incredibly stupid despite knowing better.”

Politicians, though, usually aren’t allowed — for better or for worse — the luxury of a simple misspeak.

By all means, release the documents


There appears to be a capital idea in the making.

The unclassified material related to the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state might be released for public review.

Yes, release them. Let the public see the documents. Let the public review them and let the public decide whether the Democratic candidate for president has earned the right to occupy the office she seeks.


Republicans all across the country have been making a great deal of those e-mails and Clinton’s use of the private server. They are mighty unhappy that FBI Director James Comey decided against recommending prosecuting Clinton, that she didn’t commit a crime.

Well, now some GOP members of Congress want to pursue perjury charges against the Democratic presidential candidate.

Let’s take a look at the documents.

Hasn’t Clinton actually expressed support for public release of them?

I don’t think Clinton committed a crime and I support the FBI’s conclusion on that matter.

I also believe in full transparency. So, let’s separate the classified documents from the unclassified papers. Release them to the public and let the public decide the fate of this investigation — for which the public paid a lot of money.

Will it open up a whole array of political discussion and debate? Sure it will. That’s what happens in the middle of a presidential election.

‘Damn e-mails’ plaguing Clinton once more


Do you remember when Sen. Bernie Sanders told Hillary Clinton he was “tired of hearing about those damn e-mails”?

He said so during a Democratic Party primary debate. It drew big laughs and applause as he sought to put to rest  the hubbub over Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server during her time as secretary of state.

Well, it turns out that “damn e-mails” of quite another variety are rising up to nip at Clinton as she prepares to become the Democrats’ presidential nominee.

This time they involve Sanders himself. They also involve communication from lame-duck Democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz, who apparently really and truly didn’t want Sanders to be nominated by her party.

The e-mails appear to paint a picture of a conspiracy to deny Sanders the nomination. Schultz, after all, is a good friend of Clinton. So, she wanted her pal nominated, as the e-mails suggest.

The chairwoman has tendered her resignation. She won’t gavel the convention open this evening. She’s going to be keeping the lowest of profiles possible for the next four days.

That’s probably a good thing.

But oh brother, the chatter has begun about the “rigged system” that’s going to nominate Clinton. The chatterer in chief is none other than Republican nominee Donald J. Trump, who had his own political rigging to deal with as he sought his party’s nomination.

I’m not going to take the Hillary-colluded-with-Debbie bait. No one has offered any proof that the Clinton campaign was party to what Schultz sought to do, which allegedly was to use skullduggery to deny Sanders the nomination.

Still, Clinton’s got another e-mail matter she must clear up.

I don’t know how she does that. She’s pretty damn smart. My advice to her is to get busy and find a way to get this mess cleaned up.

Hillary won’t get reprieve if she escapes indictment


I think I can predict this with some confidence.

If Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail controversy doesn’t result in a federal indictment, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee won’t get a moment’s reprieve from her critics.

The FBI is examining whether Clinton violated any laws when she used her personal e-mail server while she was secretary of state. An indictment would have to come from a federal grand jury on the recommendation of the FBI prosecutors.

There’s that problem, of course, with former President Bill Clinton’s impromptu meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch the other day in Phoenix. Clinton should have stayed away; Lynch should have shooed him off her plane. Why? The investigation looms as a serious problem for the ex-president’s wife — and he should have known better than to go anywhere near the AG, who oversees the FBI.

Hillary Clinton’s headaches won’t end if the FBI decides there’s nothing for which to indict her.

But the way I look at it now, she’s been through enough hell already from those who hate her that she’s likely immune from too much further damage.

Heck, she’s been hectored and harassed since before her husband ran for president in 1992. She’s been examined, grilled and persecuted ever since.

And spare me the canard that the media have been soft on her.


If only the candidate’s husband had stayed away from the attorney general. But he didn’t.

It’s up now to the career prosecutors and investigators at the FBI to do their job. I have confidence they’ll do what they have to do.

I realize the futility of this request, but I’ll make it anyway: Whatever their conclusions, how about we just accept them and move on?

‘Damn e-mails’ return to center stage


Back in the old days, when Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Rodham Clinton actually were treating each other nicely, Sanders offered this often-quoted quip: “I am tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.”

I’ve got bad news for you, Sen. Sanders. We’re going to hear about those “damn e-mails” for a while longer.

The State Department’s inspector general has issued a report that says then-Secretary of State Clinton flouted department policy in her use of a personal e-mail server when communicating about State Department issues.

Does this doom Clinton’s assured nomination as the next Democratic Party presidential nominee? No. It’s going to damage her. Why? Republicans will make sure of it.


I am not giving this report the short shrift. I get the concern about policy violations. What’s unclear to me, though, is whether any of the information Clinton passed on her personal server ever was captured by our nation’s enemies? Did any of them ever use that information to harm our national security?

What’s more, as Clinton has said in pushing back, other secretaries of state have used personal e-mail accounts. Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Madeleine Albright? They did, too.

Did they ever compromise national security? I haven’t heard evidence of it regarding those officials, either.


I was troubled when word came out about the use of personal e-mail servers to convey public information. My major concern then was whether information actually compromised our national security. All the congressional inquiries and probes haven’t yet made that determination.

However, that won’t stop the chatter and the intense criticism. It goes with the political territory.

Bernie Sanders’ wish won’t come true any time soon.


Timing of e-mail classification now becomes key


Hillary Rodham Clinton’s decision to use her personal e-mail account was problematical, to say the least.

Now we might be finding out why it has caused the secretary of state so many problems.

She’s running for the presidency. The U.S. State Department issued a statement this past week that several e-mails that went out on that account were “top secret” in nature.

Yes, I am concerned about the use of that personal account, just like a lot of folks are concerned. My major concern is whether any of that top secret information ended up in the hands of hackers who might have broken into that account. Those things do happen, you know.

The question of the moment, though, is this: When did State decide to classify the messages as top secret?

Clinton has said all along that she didn’t send classified material on her personal account. She stands by that contention to this day. Moreover, she has said she did what previous secretaries of state have done. It didn’t come up when, say, Colin Powell was running the State Department.

To be sure, this matter has worsened the trust issue that is dogging her campaign in the very late stages of the campaign leading up to Monday night’s Iowa caucuses.

Let us not get ahead of ourselves.

I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt over whether she sent the material out on her personal account knowing they were top secret.

Clinton said she didn’t jeopardize our national security.

Let’s ask the question: Were these e-mails re-classified just in recent days?


Woodward knows a ‘scandal’ when he sees one

Bob Woodward knows his way around a political scandal.

He once was a young police reporter working for the Metro desk at the Washington Post. Then some goofballs broke into the Democratic Party National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex. Woodward and Carl Bernstein, another young reporter, began smelling a scandal in the works.

It turned out to be a big one. President Richard Nixon ended up resigning when it was learned he ordered the cover-up of the burglary.

Woodward sees a similarity between then and what’s happening now with Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail controversy. The e-mail matter deals with messages Clinton sent on her personal server that might have contained highly classified information while she was serving as secretary of state.

According to The Hill: “’Follow the trail here,’ Woodward said on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ noting that emails erased from Clinton’s private server when she led the State Department were either sent or received by someone else, too.”

Clinton erased the e-mails, just like those audiotapes were erased back in the 1970s as the Watergate scandal began to creep up on President Nixon. That’s according to Woodward.

The man knows what a scandal looks like. The Clinton e-mail controversy isn’t a scandal. At least not yet.