Posted by Curt on 5 September, 2016 at 5:39 pm. 75 comments already!


David French:

Last Friday, Twitter provided a near-perfect window into America’s divided, polarized soul. That afternoon, the FBI released its heavily redacted report and interview notes regarding Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, and the responses could not have been more different.

The Right side of the Twitterverse melted down. Some of the revelations were stunning. Hillary’s team wiped her server after the New York Times disclosed its existence — at the same time that Hillary herself was publicly calling for the release of her e-mails to the public. Incredibly, Hillary told investigators that she didn’t pay attention to the “level” of classification attached to e-mail communications and didn’t know what the (C) classification meant. She conveniently “forgot” numerous key facts. And — finally — though she used 13 e-mail-capable mobile devices during her tenure as secretary of state, her lawyers were unable to locate any of them. Thus, the FBI was unable to conduct a forensic examination and was unable to definitely determine if her e-mail had been hacked.

In short, what the FBI file revealed was the extent of the Clinton deception operation, complete with lurid details — such as aides smashing old Blackberries with a hammer, an IT employee declaring an “oh s***” moment as he rushed to delete files, and Cheryl Mills participating as an attorney in the proceedings even though she was a witness and possible subject in the investigation.

There are those on the Left side of the Internet who looked at the same report, read every word, and declared that it actually exonerated Clinton. Here is former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau pointing out perhaps the most influential piece by Kevin Drum:

Drum is one of the more thoughtful political writers — Left or Right — and is always worth reading. So I clicked on the link confident that it would provide the most persuasive possible defense of Hillary Clinton.

It’s not persuasive. Essentially, it boils down to a decision to believe the vast majority of Clinton’s excuses and rationalizations (regardless of their credibility) without credibly dealing with the true elephant in the room, the presence of highly classified information on a private, homebrew server. Here’s Drum totally believing the explanation for wiping Hillary’s server after she received a subpoena from the Benghazi committee:

It had nothing to do with anyone around Hillary Clinton. An IT guy at PRN [Platte River Networks] realized one day that he’d forgotten about the retention order and went ahead and implemented it. The report makes clear that Cheryl Mills sent an email, which the PRN techie received, telling PRN about the preservation request from the Benghazi committee. The techie said he knew it meant he shouldn’t disturb the Clinton server, but apparently got confused and didn’t realize this meant he shouldn’t touch the old archives or the backups.

So the IT guy just got “confused.” Well, maybe, but Drum left out some rather important context. On March 25, 2015, PRN had a conference call with Clinton’s staff. We don’t know the substance of that call. Between March 25 and March 31, PRN had its now-famous “oh s***” moment and systematically deleted e-mails. On March 31, it had yet another call with Clinton’s staff, but the contents of that call were withheld through assertion of attorney-client privilege.

Do you still believe the deletion “had nothing to do with anyone around Hillary Clinton?”

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