Turns out Democratic presidential frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton actually was hiding emails on her personal server. The State Department has discovered a chain of emails Clinton sent from her private server from January and February 2009, before the time Clinton stated she first started using the server in March 2009. The Associated Press first reported the discovery of this email chain on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015.
The State Department discovered a chain of emails she previously failed to disclose. Clinton exchanged the emails with retired Gen. David Petraeus at when he was still the head of US Central Command, leading the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The emails began just before Clinton became Secretary of State in January 2009 and continued through February 2009 after she was already assumed her cabinet post.
Although the emails are mostly personal in nature and do not discuss classified information, the fact that Clinton lied about when she started to use her private server and held back on these emails is troubling and could affect her already troubled presidential campaign. The emails Clinton handed over to the State Department started on March 18, 2009.
Clinton insisted that she had used an “AT&T Blackberry email account” until she started using her private server, and that all of them had been erased. The emails dated start from Jan. 10, 2009 when Clinton used her old email account until Jan. 28, the first time she used her new server and email account email@example.com. The email exchange ended on Feb. 1, in total there were only 10 emails. The email exchange with Petraeus was discovered on his end from his email at the Defense Department. The Defense Department then passed them over to the State Department.
State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed that these emails are new to them, and just received, saying the emails “were not previously in the possession of the department.” Kirby also said these new emails would be reviewed according to the Freedom of Information Act and then they would released to the public as are the rest of Clinton’s emails. The emails discovery is going to be part of the State Department newly implemented “review of record retention practices” which began in March in light of it being made public that Clinton used a private server and the backlash that followed.
Clinton has always maintained that she handed over all the emails and the emails she erased were entirely personal in nature and had nothing to do with her job in the top diplomatic post. Just this past week Clinton appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” where she insisted, “We provided all of them.” Clinton also pointed out on the CBS News program, “When I did it, it was allowed, it was above board. And now I’m being as transparent as possible, more than anybody else ever has been.”
In August, Clinton gave a “sworn statement to a US District Court,” where she declared that she had handed over all the work related emails in her possession to the State Department. Clinton stated, “I have directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.” The statement was for the ongoing lawsuit with the conservative group Judicial Watch, who has argued successfully that Clinton’s emails should be released to the public. Since June, the State Department has released each month batches of Clinton’s emails and they will continue doing so until January.
Clinton’s campaign would not officially respond to the Associated Press, instead Clinton campaign’s press secretary Brian Fallon took to Twitter, maintain that Clinton told the truth, writing, “We always said the emails given to State dated back only to March 09. That was when she started using http://clintonemail.com.”
Republicans were quick to emphasize the fact that Clinton did lie about her emails and those she erased. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus issued a statement reminding the American public, “This discrepancy raises serious questions and fits a pattern of dishonesty on the part of Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and the State Department designed to hide the truth. Once again, Hillary Clinton has shown that she cannot be taken at her word and that she cannot be trusted in the White House.”
There is nothing to celebrate about Hillary Clinton’s behavior and lack of forthrightness. The fact that she lied about handing over all the work related emails the State Department only adds to the perception that Clinton is hiding something and that she is trying to deceive the American public about her record and conduct as Secretary of State. The problem is greater than the fact that Clinton hide 10 emails, but considering she starting using her private server on Jan. 28, 2009 it leads to the questions where are the emails from that date to March 18, 2009, why did Clinton delete them and what was there to hide.
The ongoing email scandal has greatly affected voter’s perception of Clinton, her once certain nomination now seems in Jeopardy. Voters question her honesty and trustworthiness and most associate her with the word liar. Clinton’s poll numbers are tanking with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders benefitting the most. In the most recent CNN/WMUR poll looking at the race in the important early primary state of New Hampshire Sanders leads Clinton by 16 percent, with Sanders receiving 46 percent to Clinton’s 30 percent support, at the beginning of August the numbers would have been reversed. Although Clinton still leads nationally, her numbers are in most polls under 50 percent, while her favorable ratings are also down.