Monday, August 14, 2017

Hillary Thought Benghazi Was Behind Her. A Judge Just Said Otherwise.

Most of Hillary Clinton’s supporters believe she did nothing wrong in the leadup to or the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, and not a few of her detractors think her decisive loss last November was punishment enough for her many failings. But while Hillary herself may have thought that the September 11, 2012 attack was safely in the rearview mirror, a U.S. District Court just made a stunning decision that could very well put her poor decisions in the spotlight one more time.

Judge Amit Mehta ruled this week that the State Department had failed to exercise enough diligence when searching for messages sent by then-Secretary Clinton in the wake of the attack on America’s diplomatic compound in Libya. He ordered State officials to go back to the drawing board and track down any and all intra-department emails sent by Clinton related to the terrorist invasion that left four Americans dead.

The State Department has previously conducted at least three separate searches through the email trove. Once, in response to FOIA requests, they went through the 30,000 emails turned over by Clinton – emails that were, of course, located on her private homebrew server in the basement of her New York home. Emails that were carefully pruned by half by her staff before she would allow anyone to take a look inside the server’s contents. But hey, that’s neither here or there…

On two other occasions, the State Department looked through additional emails that came to light as a result of cooperation from Huma Abedin and other top Clinton aides and ones that came into their possession after the FBI ran a forensic scan on Hillary’s private server. So far, the State Department has found some 348 Benghazi-related emails sent by the former Secretary of State.
Now, even a casual observer of this sketched timeline would notice something odd. While the State Department may have done a thorough job of searching emails that originated on Hillary Clinton-owned hardware, they did not conduct any searches of their own systems. And that’s what inspired the conservatives at Judicial Watch to go to court. And that’s what Judge Mehta saw as a huge problem in the State Department’s methodology.

“To date, State has searched only data compilations originating from outside sources — Secretary Clinton, her former aides, and the FBI. … It has not, however, searched 8 the one records system over which it has always had control and that is almost certain to contain some responsive records: the state.gov e-mail server,” Mehta wrote. “If Secretary Clinton sent an e-mail about Benghazi to Abedin, Mills, or Sullivan at his or her state.gov e-mail address, or if one of them sent an e-mail to Secretary Clinton using his or her state.gov account, then State’s server presumably would have captured and stored such an e-mail. Therefore, State has an obligation to search its own server for responsive records.”

This is such an obvious conclusion that it’s actually shameful that it took a court order for us to get to this point. And it’s also regrettable that the Trump administration is picking up where the Obama administration left off in battling Judicial Watch’s search for the truth. However, it is a clear signifier that this scandal runs deep and wide – career employees at the State Department are covering for themselves and their former boss.

Americans, however, deserve to know the truth about what happened that fateful night in Benghazi.

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