Sit yourself down. You will be shocked to hear this. It turns out that the Clintons were not completely 100% honest about her e-mail server:
The State Department’s inspector general has sharply criticized Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, saying she had not sought permission to use it and would not have received it if she had.
In a report delivered to members of Congress on Wednesday, the inspector general said that Mrs. Clinton “had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business” with officials responsible for handling records and security but that inspectors “found no evidence” that she had requested or received approval from anyone at the department to conduct her state business on a personal email.
The report also said that department officials “did not — and would not — approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business.”
It also added new detail about Mrs. Clinton’s motivation for using the private server, which she has said was set up for convenience. In November 2010, her deputy chief of staff for operations prodded her about “putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam.” Mrs. Clinton, however, replied that she would consider a separate address or device “but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”
The report contradicts Clinton on several critics points. It puts the lie to her statement that their e-mail preservation methods had approval. It puts the lie to her statement that other Secretaries had done this (none had their own servers). And it shows that she used a private e-mail server mainly to shield her privacy, not for convenience.
None of these means she will be indicted. It’s not clear if she broke classification rules by accident or on purpose, which makes a difference in whether she’s charged or not (Petraeus, to cite one example, deliberately exposed information he knew was classified). The FBI should conclude their investigation before the election. But indictment or no, that shows once again a fundamental aspect of the Clintons: the lie, frequently, fluently and flagrantly. They lie when they don’t need to. They lie when they need to. They will lie whenever they think they can get away with it. Because they usually can.
It also shows something else: left wingers will defend the Clintons no matter what they do or who they screw over or whether that screwing was consensual. Over the last few days, Trump has been dragging out a lot of old Clinton scandals, some real (Whitewater, Juanita Broaddrick), some phony (Vince Foster). The response of the Clinton defenders, however, never changes: Whitewater was a fake scandal (that, uh, resulted in 40 felony convictions); the Travel Office Controversy was phony (because apparently it’s OK to wreck someone’s life with false embezzlement charges); the Lewinsky scandal was about a blow job (not obstructing justice or committing perjury to avoid embarrassment).
This is why I’ve dreaded this election for the last four years. Whether Clinton wins or loses, we’re going to be rehashing the battles of the 90’s. This is what the Clintons do. This is who they are. This is what 2016 has brought us to.
Update: Reading more on this, it looks worse for Clinton than I thought. The violations appear to be quite deliberate and knowing. As Charles Cooke put it, Clinton wanted to avoid FOIA and thought the rules did not apply to her.
As this goes on, we are rapidly progressing through the known stages of a Clinton scandal, which I will illustrate from the Lewinsky scandal:
Stage 1: Denial. “I never had sex with that woman!”
Stage 2: Misdirection. “This is about Republicans being angry they lost an election! Newt Gingrich cheated on his wife!”
Stage 3: Quibbling. “It depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is”.
Stage 4: Brazenness. “OK, but the economy is doing great! Who cares about a blow job!”
Stage 5: Dismissal. “Why are we still talking about this? It happened so long ago.”
State’s report basically destroys Stage 3. So now we’re transitioning to Stage 4: “But … Trump!” I expect by July, Democrats will be saying that since this happened four years ago, what possible difference could it make?