Updated, see below
According to Reuters — not generally part of the Faux News Network — Hillary Clinton’s attorney has told a Senate panel investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks that the email server she used “had been wiped clean” (emphasis mine):
Representative Trey Gowdy said Clinton had not provided a single new document and her lawyer told the committee a server she used for emails while she was the top U.S. diplomat had been wiped clean.
“We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server,” Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said in a statement.
Is there some other way to interpret this? Was Ms. Clinton actually operating her own email server? Or does this mean that some provider used by her did the deed?
I understand that the GOP hatred for the Clintons is nearly as intense as its similarly disgusting hatred for Barrack Obama. But even so, the emails either were or were not deleted. Ms. Clinton did or did not have a role in deleting them.
If the emails are truly gone, and especially if Ms. Clinton personally ordered them deleted or knowingly did nothing while a third party removed them, then in my view she is unfit for public office. If this turns out to be true, then nominating Ms. Clinton would be like nominating Richard Nixon after his role in the Watergate cover-up was disclosed.
Mythology has it that when when Mr. Clinton’s activities with Ms. Lewinsky were made public, Ms. Clinton’s reaction to him was a furious “What have you done to our Presidency?”
Ms. Clinton, what have you done to your candidacy?
Published reports like this CNN report clarify the statement made by Ms. Clinton’s attorney:
In his letter to Gowdy, [Clinton lawyer David Kendall] said the former secretary of state “chose not to keep her non-record personal emails.”
“Thus, there are no … e-mails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized,” he wrote.
But she “has maintained and preserved copies” of work-related, or potentially work-related emails she turned over to the State Department late last year. Kendall did not specify whether the emails were kept in paper or digital form.
So Ms. Clinton has decided, unilaterally, that she and only she will determine whether individual emails were “non-record personal emails”. Given the history of the Clinton family with the GOP, I’m not surprised that she takes this posture.
In my view, the optics are still devastating. I truly wonder whether the political firestorm this is already creating is worth the exercise. Other individuals have pursued approaches such is an “in-camera” review by a neutral judge. This strategy rejuvenates the dying “Benghazi-Gate” foolishness that was, up to now, dying a well-deserved death.
Surely Ms. Clinton and her advisers understand this. It is hard for me to avoid wondering whether there are emails that she and her advisers fear would be at least misunderstood — all the more reason to find something less drastic than destroying the evidence that a third party requires.