When Do Rules Not Apply?
Could the leaders in Washington please tell us which rules we are allowed to not follow? Please? This is getting confusing for the average American.
Since 2005, the United States State Department has had very clear rules that employees cannot use personal email for official business. In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent out an internal directive reminding State Department employees that they could not use personal email addresses for government business. Likewise, she removed a United States Ambassador for using personal email for government work.
Now we are learning that prior to becoming Secretary of State in 2009, Hillary Clinton set up a personal email server in her home. She used that email address for all of her government business and her personal business. She helped plan her daughter’s wedding with that email address. She received important State Department communications with that email address. For six years, she violated State Department policy.
But it is not just State Department policy over which others lost their jobs. Federal law requires that all her government emails be archived. From what we know so far, it appears she did not archive all her emails.
Last Wednesday night, less than a half-hour before midnight after reporter deadlines and as a winter storm approached Washington and New York, Hillary Clinton Tweeted out that she wanted the State Department to release all her emails. Mrs. Clinton first had to submit her emails to the State Department. She has not made clear if she handed over every single document, and there is no way anyone can believe her without an independent review.
Before Ken Starr, before Monica Lewinsky, before Bill Clinton’s impeachment, before all that, another outside independent counsel accused then first lady Hillary Clinton of violating rules and abusing her position as first lady. Time and again Hillary Clinton has acted as if the rules do not apply to her.
It is not just emails though. The Clintons have profited off both Mrs. Clinton’s status as Secretary of State and Bill Clinton’s status as former president. The Clinton Foundation received an extraordinary amount of foreign gifts. What we may soon also see is that Mr. Clinton was useful to friends and corporations while his wife served as Secretary of State.
Color me unsurprised if next we hear that Mr. Clinton visited foreign leaders and politely put corporations on their radar that had business in those countries. The rumors have already started on that front, but there is no telling if they will pan out. Unfortunately, given the Clintons’ other antics, it would not be surprising.
For years, Bill and Hillary Clinton have had financial anorexia. They stand in front of a mirror and see themselves as poor even with their wealth rapidly accumulating. They are in a party with others named Rockefeller, Kohl, Heinz-Kerry and Kennedy. These Democrats inherited wealth or married into wealth. Bill and Hillary Clinton were always behind. They had to do something to get ahead. So they simply ignored rules or decided the rules did not apply to them.
All of their rule breaking and waving is catching up to them now. On the emails, their contents are not nearly as important as who read them. A home server, regardless of the protocols used, will not be nearly as secure as the government server.
We know a bit about Mrs. Clinton’s emails because of a hacker. What did China know? Or Russia? Or al-Qaida? Her own arrogance and vanity have put the national security of the nation at risk.
The most interesting angle, however, may be political. Did the White House never send Mrs. Clinton emails? Surely they had to know she was not using a State Department email. Thus far, though, every indication is that the White House did not know. It makes you wonder if the competitive rivalry between Team Clinton and Team Obama compelled Mrs. Clinton to separate herself as much as she could from the Obama White House. Now it will come back to haunt her.