Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus didn’t mince any words in responding to the news that aides to Hillary Clinton had deliberately deleted 30,000 emails from her private server.
Priebus issued a statement saying that “even Nixon didn’t destroy the tapes.”
Clinton’s lawyer informed the House Select Committee investigating Benghazi on Friday that Clinton no longer had copies of any emails from her four-year tenure as secretary of State, ending in 2013.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the committee, said in a statement Friday that “Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server.”
Gowdy, whose committee had subpoenaed the server earlier this month, charged that Clinton apparently decided to delete her emails after Oct. 28, 2014, when the State Department first asked her to turn over public records.
Clinton has turned over roughly 55,000 pages of documents to the State Department, though Republicans have have seized her admission this month that her aides deleted more than 30,000 “personal” emails.
Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, reportedly told House investigators that after aides determined which emails were private and which were government-related, an account setting was changed to only save emails sent in the past 60 days, adding the setting was changed after she responded to the records request.
“Thus, there are no [email protected] emails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized,” Kendall said in a letter to Gowdy’s committee, according to The New York Times.
Still, Republicans are likely to keep up their attacks on Clinton over the emails heading into her official declaration of a 2016 presidential campaign, which is expected in weeks.
Priebus on Saturday echoed calls from Republican lawmakers for Clinton to turn over her server.
“It’s imperative an independent third party review the server immediately. Unless Mrs. Clinton went to extreme lengths to wipe this server, there are ways to recover this data,” Priebus said.
A third party should have reviewed all 60,000 emails before anything was turned over to the State Department. It’s simply incredible that Mrs. Clinton would arrogantly take it upon herself to decide which communications were “official” and which were “personal.”
Priebus pointed out, “There isn’t a separate set of rules the Clintons can choose to play by. It’s time they be held accountable.” Good luck with that, boss. “Accountability” is not in either Clinton’s vocabulary.
So what’s worse? Clinton deleting 30,000 emails or Democrats defending her?
Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Benghazi panel, said Kendall’s letter confirmed “what we all knew: that Secretary Clinton already produced her official records to the State Department, that she did not keep her personal emails and that the Select Committee has already obtained her emails relating to the attacks in Benghazi.”
Cummings said it is time for Gowdy and other Republicans to stop what he called a “political charade” and instead make Clinton’s emails public. Gowdy also should schedule Clinton’s public testimony before the Benghazi panel as soon as possible, Cummings said.
No, we didn’t know that Clinton “did not keep her personal emails.” That is a gargantuan surprise. And what independent, third party is guaranteeing that all emails relating to Benghazi have been turned over to the committee? Cummings may trust that Clinton has done so, but less partisan observers might be skeptical.
Bottom line: Clinton is going to get away with it. And Hill and Bill are probably laughing about putting one over on their political enemies.