After eight years of the Hillary Clinton presidency, we're all scandal-fatigued, right?
Oh, wait–she's still just a candidate.
But the release of yesterday's report by the State Department Inspector General on her emails was imbued with a sense of deja vu.
It confirmed what all but the most gullible surely suspected about Mrs. Clinton's email use as secretary of state and had that vintage Clinton feel: the alleged transgressions are so mired in complexity that Mrs. Clinton won't blink twice before dispatching spokesmen to inform us that–ha, ha, ha–Colin Powell had used a private email account (but it was aol, not the closet basement special).
Still, it is a scathing report. An editorial in today's Wall Street Journal characterizes it this way:
The report obtained by news outlets Wednesday is ostensibly an audit of the email practices of five secretaries of State. But the majority of the report, and the most withering criticism, focuses on Mrs. Clinton. The IG concludes that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee broke federal record-keeping rules, never received permission for her off-grid server, ignored security concerns raised by other officials, and employed a staff that flouted the rules with the same disdain she did.
“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” says the report. “At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”
State still has never received emails from her private account for the first six weeks after she became Secretary, and the IG notes that it found (by other means) business-related emails that Mrs. Clinton did not include among the emails she has turned over.
The report says she has also stonewalled requests to obtain her server. And “through her counsel, Secretary Clinton declined [the IG’s] request for an interview.” Former Secretaries Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and current Secretary John Kerry all sat for interviews.
. . .
The IG—who had better hire a food-taster—also found that Mrs. Clinton neither sought nor received permission for her private communications. The former Secretary also understood the security risks this posed because she was warned several times.
In March 2011 the Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security sent Mrs. Clinton a memorandum that warned of a “dramatic increase” in attempts by “cyber actors to compromise the private home e-mail accounts of senior Department officials,” with an eye toward “technical surveillance and possible blackmail.”
Andrew McCarthy addresses the matter of Mrs. Clinton's public posturing that "of course" she wanted to cooperate on the email investigation in the light of her (and her staff's) refusal to do so, as revealed in the IG report.
But this is the Clintons, and thus we may never know the answer to the most fascinating question: What was she trying to hide? Barring the unexpected, she seems to have succeeded in hiding whatever that was.