This week the FBI released the final 250 pages of documentation from its investigation into Clinton’s remote email server. What does it reveal? Well, like most conspiracy theories, the answer is probably more mundane than critics hoped. The email server was much more about Clinton’s technophobia and her staff’s decisions to take shortcuts on issues it didn’t deem as significant as the other aspects of the job–like finding diplomatic solutions to the world’s biggest problems. Cough, cough, no one thought Clinton’s email was a problem and it doesn’t seem like she was trying to hide anything…
Together, the documents, technically known as Form 302s, depict less a sinister and carefully calculated effort to avoid transparency than a busy and uninterested executive who shows little comfort with even the basics of technology, working with a small, harried inner circle of aides inside a bureaucracy where the IT and classification systems haven’t caught up with how business is conducted in the digital age. Reading the FBI’s interviews, Clinton’s team hardly seems organized enough to mount any sort of sinister cover-up. There’s scant oversight of the way Clinton communicated, and little thought given to how her files might be preserved for posterity—MacBook laptops with outdated archives are FedExed across the country, cutting-edge iPads are discarded quickly and BlackBerry devices are rejected for being “too heavy” as staff scrambled to cater to Clinton’s whims.
Agents interviewed officials ranging from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to CIA officers to the IT staffer who first rented a minivan to drive the server from Washington to the Clintons’ home in New York. The files also include the FBI’s forensic investigative process and never-before-seen details of the staff decisions that led to the server, the mechanics of Clinton’s email system, and the confusing and balky State Department processes that led a technophobic Clinton to embrace her own BlackBerry. The FBI interviewed both those who supported her and those who questioned her decisions, as well as plenty of disinterested public servants who had no allegiance or beef with her either way. While the interviews were not technically conducted “under oath” — lying to federal agents is itself a crime, as is obstruction of justice — they do open a uniquely candid window into how the decisions around Hillary Clinton’s email server unfolded. They may be as close to the actual truth as we may ever get.
How it all began:
“Clinton didn’t like the idea of carrying around two devices—one for official government work and one for personal or political correspondence, which is discouraged on government accounts. So she opted instead to carry only a single device, a personal BlackBerry, linked to a newly registered email account on a private domain, clintonemail.com, that was run off a recycled server from her unsuccessful presidential bid the year before…”
Read the full account, with every email address Clinton ever had and who set it up for her at Politico.We assume Secretary Clinton is now just using gmail…
If you’re interested in issues of transparency, and still hate Clinton for her email practices, it might interest you to know that Congress passed a law making all their emails off limits. Yup, no one can read members of Congress’s emails. Does that seem in our best interest? From PBS:
A provision in the Constitution known as the “speech or debate” clause provides members of Congress with immunity for their legislative acts. Generally, it has been interpreted to give them broad control over their records, although it has been challenged in court during recent corruption investigations.
Additionally, because executive branch agencies are bound by the Freedom of Information Act, correspondence between a lawmaker and, say, the Interior Department can be accessed by the public.
The exemptions Congress grants itself are not just about records.
Lawmakers have spared themselves from many other laws that cover the rest of society, including those governing workplace health and safety, civil rights and discrimination.