The Illegal, Off-the-Record, Hillary Clinton Email Account

When people sent Hillary Clinton email, they sent it to a private account when she was Secretary of State.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Does anyone remember the big controversy back during the McCain campaign when it was discovered that Sarah Palin had a private email account as well as her official one as governor?

This demonstrates that those who are firmly embedded in the ruling class don’t even worry about the rules that other people are supposed to follow (and be punished for violating).

Hillary Clinton not only used a private email account as Secretary of State, it was the only account that she used.

The New York Times story hedges: “possibly breaking rules,” “may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.”

A little logic here: If there is a requirement “that officials’ correspondence be retained” then she obviously violated the requirement. And if there is no such requirement then secret government is the official policy of the United States, kind of like secret science for the EPA. If we live in a Republic where officials are accountable, then of course she is not supposed to be engaged in secret communication that affects her decisions that no one else is permitted to know about.

Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

The story points out that other Secretaries of State have had private accounts. Even though it opens up the possibility of corruption, I understand why. People have private communications that aren’t government property or business related. But Clinton has now set precedent by exclusively using a private email.

I’m curious if she took measures to prevent the NSA from reading her emails.

I’m also curious if she took measures to make sure no foreign power was reading them (other than the ones with whom she was communicating, of which there is now no record except what Clinton chose to voluntarily disclose).

Mr. Blanton said high-level officials should operate as President Obama does, emailing from a secure government account, with every record preserved for historical purposes.

“Personal emails are not secure,” he said. “Senior officials should not be using them.”

The New York Times then tells us what kind of government we really have:

Penalties for not complying with federal record-keeping requirements are rare, because the National Archives has few enforcement abilities.

How perfect. On paper we are ruled by an accountable government. But there is no actual enforcement. No one gets held accountable. We have, in fact, a secret government that is open to corruption.

Thus, the Hillary Clinton email record is as inaccessible as Barack Obama’s academic records.