I don’t expect we’ll see that headline, but Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post comes close to delivering this judgment:
Here’s the good news for Hillary Clinton: The FBI has recommended no charges be brought followings its investigation of the former secretary of state’s private email server.
Here’s the bad news: Just about everything else.
FBI director James Comey dismantled large portions of Clinton’s long-told story about her private server and what she sent or received on it during a stirring 15-minute press conference following which he took no questions. While Comey exonerated Clinton legally speaking, he provided huge amounts of fodder that could badly hamstring her in the court of public opinion.
Most importantly, Comey said that the FBI found 110 emails on Clinton’s server that were classified at the time they were sent or received. That stands in direct contradiction to Clinton’s repeated insistence she never sent or received any classified emails. And, it even stands in contrast to her amended statement that she never knowingly sent or received anyclassified information. . .
Comey said that Clinton had used not one but multiple private email servers during her time at State. He said that Clinton used multiple emails devices during that time. (She had offered her desire to use a single device for “convenience” as the main reason she set up the private server.) He noted that the lawyers tasked by Clinton with sorting her private emails from her professional ones never actually read all of the emails (as the FBI did in the course of its investigation). . .
It’s hard to read Comey’s statement as anything other than a wholesale rebuke of the story Clinton and her campaign team have been telling ever since the existence of her private email server came to light in the spring of 2015. She did send and receive classified emails. The setup didleave her — and the classified information on the server — subject to a possible foreign hack. She and her team did delete emails as personal that contained professional information.
About those thousands of “private” emails Hillary deleted, one of our readers sensibly asks:
One issue I have not seen addressed in the media is how a busy person could have half of her emails deemed as personal . If you are busy maybe 5 to 10 percent is a stretch but 50 percent either means she was not working at her job or hiding something probably as a result of Clinton Foundation connections – we may never find that out but any busy person understands the 50 percent is just not possible and suggests only one reasonable conclusion.
I think a great many Americans will understand the larger picture here quite clearly. It certainly doesn’t help the fading public trust in our political class.