Ron Fournier | Why the Clinton Email Scandal Is So Sticky

Ron Fournier, National Journal:

I un­der­stand their siege men­tal­ity.

And yet, Bill and Hil­lary Clin­ton re­peatedly dis­play a will­ing­ness to ag­gress­ively deny wrong­do­ing when the facts say oth­er­wise. Des­pite her deni­als, a fed­er­al pro­sec­utor found “sub­stan­tial evid­ence” that Hil­lary Clin­ton had a role in the 1993 White House travel-of­fice fir­ings. Five years later, Bill Clin­ton lied to the pub­lic about his af­fair with Mon­ica Lew­in­sky.

Which is why the email scan­dal is so sticky. Hil­lary Clin­ton’s de­fense can be boiled down to two words—trust me—and we can’t. There will be no trust be­fore a cred­ible in­de­pend­ent re­view of the emails she de­leted.

There will be no trust un­til she ad­mits what she did was wrong—and not be­cause of “the con­fu­sion it cre­ated,” as she likes to say, but be­cause it vi­ol­ated a fed­er­al policy and the fun­da­ment­als of good gov­ern­ment: trans­par­ency and ac­count­ab­il­ity.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to Madeleine Al­bright, the sec­ret­ary of State un­der Bill Clin­ton, who was asked on MS­N­BC’s Morn­ing Joe today wheth­er she would let her deputy sec­ret­ary of State put all email on a private serv­er.

“I would not,” she said. “No.”

Easy an­swer. Straight an­swer. This scan­dal is stick­ing around be­cause Hil­lary Clin­ton can’t seem to sum­mon the same.


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