Check out the first 1 minute and 20 seconds of that video for a montage of Hillary's denials of any wrongdoing in this whole email and private server business. Those previous statements are now inoperative, to quote President Nixon's press spokesman during Watergate.
Yesterday's background briefing on the State Department Inspector General's report on email records management and cybersecurity requirements had its moments, like when the moderators quibbled with reporters over the key finding that Hillary Clinton did not turn over all her official business email records as required by law.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: [Moderator], I can take those as well. First, I do believe the OIG report finds that by leaving the Department without turning over all of her emails, Secretary Clinton didn’t comply with the records rules. However, OIG and NARA have found that by (inaudible) back to us, she mitigated those problems. And you’ve heard us say this a number of times over the past year; we worked very hard to put those online to show the work that she did here at the Department.
With respect to that second email, or the email that you were referencing, I don’t think I know exactly where we obtained that email. I think you are correct that it is not in the emails that we put online. We do have it; it is in our custody. But as to why we wouldn’t have it from Secretary Clinton in what she turned over, I would have to refer you to her and her team on that.
QUESTION: Well, but all her emails were – work-related emails were supposed to be turned over. So did she – I don’t understand. Did she not turn them all over? Are there emails we’re not seeing? I mean, [Moderator], can you answer why we would be seeing emails now in an IG report that we did not see in the FOIA releases? I really don’t understand that.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I can take that. And I apologize if I didn’t – if I wasn’t clear. Secretary Clinton has said both to us and in a court filing that she turned over work-related emails that she had in her possession. There are instances, and they’re identified in the OIG report, where people are aware of emails that involved her that she did not turn over. The fact that she has said she’s turned over what she had and through other preservation and reviews we’ve identified additional emails, and we only put online through the FOIA process what Secretary Clinton turned over, to the extent that the OIG found an additional email, that’s not inconsistent with what we’d expect.
Huh? Do you mean that's not inconsistent with what we'd expect from someone who is not fully complying with the requirement to preserve and turn over all her official records? Because that's what it sounds like you're saying.
The backgrounder was followed shortly by yesterday's regular press briefing, during which the quibbling continued, along with more abuse of the word "mitigated."
QUESTION: But today the IG is saying that Secretary Clinton was not in compliance with State Department email policy, yet for the past year all we’ve been hearing about from that podium is that the secretary was in compliance.
MR TONER: We haven’t said that either. What we said is that – and I believe – and I’m – Brad can yell at me because I’m wading into the – (laughter) – into the report’s findings, but they did say that the fact that she did turn over this large tranche of emails and made an effort to do so mitigated the lack of compliance previously.
QUESTION: Mitigate doesn’t mean negate.
MR TONER: I get it. I said mitigate,
QUESTION: It actually implies the opposite of what you’re saying, that she did do something wrong and that this mitigates – it lessens, it dampens – the effect of that wrongdoing. It doesn’t even out. If you steal – if you rob a bank and you return the money, it’s a mitigating aspect, but it doesn’t mean you didn’t rob the bank.
MR TONER: Well, first of all --
QUESTION: Not that this is necessarily --
MR TONER: First of all – yeah, let me just back away from that claim right there.
QUESTION: I mean, just basic grammar here, Mark.
Yes, please do back away from that old claim about HRC being in compliance with records management requirements. The OIG report directly refutes much of what Team Clinton and HRC herself have been claiming. You can't spin that away, and anyway, why should official Department spokesmen want to? It's Hillary's problem.