It’s hard to forget President Bill Clinton’s twisted rationalization to the grand jury about why he wasn’t lying when he told a top aide, “there’s nothing going on between us.”
“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is,” Clinton infamously said. “If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement.”
Now, Hillary Clinton is running into the same problem with another simple word: “all.”
“[A]fter I left office, the State Department asked former secretaries of state for our assistance in providing copies of work-related emails from our personal accounts,” Clinton said at a press conference to address the use of a private email server. “I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related, which totaled roughly 55,000 printed pages.”
“We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department,” she said, adding that all the other emails were personal and about things like “yoga routines,” “family vacations,” and “planning Chelsea’s wedding.”
It all sounded like an innocent display of naiveté, as if the former First Lady simply didn’t want to carry around two phones or risk sharing her personal moments with the world. The problem, as we learned this week, is that in the particular vocabulary of the Clintons, “all” does not mean all. POLITICO’s Rachael Bade reports:
House GOP Benghazi investigators have discovered 60 new Libya communications between Sidney Blumenthal and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a congressional source told POLITICO on Monday — suggesting that either the State Department or the 2016 Democratic presidential contender withheld correspondence the panel had requested.
The House Select Committee on Benghazi had quietly subpoenaed Blumenthal’s Libya emails. And on Friday, the longtime Clinton family friend — who is set to testify before investigators behind closed doors Tuesday morning — handed over 120 pages worth of new Libya- and Benghazi-related emails.
The State Department is already absolving itself of blame in this newly ignited scandal. The Washington Post reported this week that the State Department said it could not locate “all or part” of 15 emails provided to the committee.
I suspect that many Democrats will attempt to minimize the significance of the event because it came about as a result of the Benghazi hearings, which they decry as little more than a witch hunt. But as Select Committee chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, explains, the real issue isn’t Benghazi, it’s that this confirms doubts about whether Clinton gave up all of the work-related emails contained on her private server.
“This has implications far beyond Libya, Benghazi and our committee’s work,” Gowdy said, and “conclusively shows her email arrangement with herself, which was then vetted by her own lawyers, has resulted in an incomplete public record.”
It also raises serious questions about what Clinton is trying to shield from public view.
“First she set up a private server to avoid transparency and records law, then she wiped it clean while its contents were under subpoena – and apparently failed to ensure congressional investigators were provided with everything they are entitled to,” Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. “What in the world is she trying to hide?”
The New York Times has discovered at least part of the answer:
“Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters last month that the memos about Libya she received while secretary of state from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime adviser who the Obama administration had barred her from hiring, had been “unsolicited.”
But email records that Mrs. Clinton, according to officials briefed on the matter, apparently failed to turn over to the State Department last fall show that she repeatedly encouraged Mr. Blumenthal to “keep ‘em coming,” as she said in an August 2012 reply to a memo from him, which she called “another keeper.”
Clinton’s murky relationship with Blumenthal, who seems to have been a confidant, despite his questionable intel and advice, looks like something that could haunt her presidential bid. Thus far she’s been very keen to distance herself from Blumenthal and any advisory role he may have had, but there is lots of information to suggest the pair had a much closer relationship.
“Are you still awake?” she wrote in an email to Blumenthal in 2009 at 10:35 p.m. “I will call if you are.”
Unfortunately, it will be difficult to dig further into Blumenthal’s role without access to all of the emails from her private server. And by all, we mean all, not the Clintonian use of the word.