Amid the FBI’s investigation of Donald Trump’s handling of government documents, comparisons have been made with the bureau’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecured, private email server to conduct her business as secretary of state.
Clinton, who is selling hats reading “But her emails,” has expressed incredulity that there should be any such comparison, insisting her server contained “zero” classified documents.
But constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who followed the Clinton case closely in the run-up to the 2016 election, says her denial “exposes something far more serious than signature hypocrisy.”
“It reflects establishment figures’ sense of license that they can literally rewrite history with little fear of contradiction by the media,” he wrote in a column for the New York Post.
Clinton wrote on Twitter that as “Trump’s problems continue to mount, the right is trying to make this about me again.”
“There’s even a ‘Clinton Standard.’ The fact is that I had zero emails that were classified,” she continued. “Comey admitted he was wrong after he claimed I had classified emails. Trump’s own State Department, under two different Secretaries, found I had no classified emails.”
Turley explained why “virtually everything about that claim is breathtakingly untrue.”
First, he recalled, a 2018 Department of Justice inspector general report revealed “81 email chains containing approximately 193 individual emails” were “classified from the CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET levels at the time.”
Clinton is simply “echoing her allies’ recent spin that there were only three documents with classification markings among 33,000 emails,” Turley said. “It is utter nonsense.”
“The Clinton email scandal is a scandal because these were emails. There is no classification automatically stamped on the text being typed out and sent within minutes,” he explained. “While attachments can have classification markings, the whole point of using secure servers is that emails are created at the moment with inevitable slips in referencing classified material.”
Turley pointed out that mistakes on private servers are more vulnerable to capture by foreign intelligence services. And the FBI, in fact, found that “hostile actors gained access” to some of the information through the emails of Clinton’s associates and aides.
Clinton also is claiming that former FBI Director James Comey “admitted he was wrong.” But Comey never wavered from his statement that 193 emails contained classified material at the time they were sent.
In congressional testimony, explaining why he didn’t refer the case for prosecution despite the apparent violations of law, Comey said his “mistake” was in how he described her conduct.
Clinton had “dozens of conversations on email about secret topics” and “about top-secret topics.”
“So if I’m gonna be honest, I have to say somehow it’s more than ordinary sloppiness,” he said.
Turley pointed out that while Congress and the State Department were seeking evidence in 2014, Clinton’s staff destroyed thousands of emails with BleachBit. Her lawyers turned over some 30,000 work-related emails to the State Department and deleted 33,000 others, unilaterally deeming them “personal.”
The law professor recounted Clinton’s lack of cooperation and false statements in numerous scandals over her career.
WND reported in 2015 that amid the revelations that Clinton used a personal email account to conduct national security business, a video circulated of her declaring at a 2000 fundraiser for her senatorial campaign that she didn’t “do email” because of the many investigations targeting her and her husband.
Critics pointed out that her candid remarks in a lunch conversation with the co-host of the fundraiser suggested her later use of a private server was about shielding her actions from scrutiny.
“As much as I’ve been investigated and all of that, you know, why would I – I don’t even want – why would I ever want to do email?” Clinton said.