James Comey, the FBI Director, said in a statement last week that the FBI would not recommend Hillary Clinton for indictment for using a private e-mail address and server for work communication while Secretary of State. But he also detailed at least eight lies she told repeatedly, to Congress and the American people. Then, in his testimony before Congress, he offered a shocking defense on Clinton’s behalf.
First, the eight lies, all well-documented . . .
1. She didn’t send or receive any e-mails that were classified “at the time.”
Clinton repeated this claim on March 10, 2015 at one of her rare press conferences, and again at an Iowa Democratic fundraiser on July 25, and again at a debate on February 4, 2016.
Truth: Comey said the FBI found at least 110 e-mails that were classified at the time they were sent or received.
2. She didn’t send or receive any e-mails marked classified.
Clinton made this claim most recently on Meet the Press on July 3, 2016. She had already made this claim in Iowa on August 26, 2015; at a Fox News town hall on March 7, 2016; and on Face the Nation on May 8.
Truth: Comey confirmed a number of e-mails were, in fact, marked classified.
3. She turned over all of her work-related e-mails.
Clinton said this on MSNBC September 4, 2015; at a Fox News town hall March 7, 2016; and at a New York press conference March 10.
Truth: The FBI found “thousands” of work-related e-mails other than those Clinton had provided.
4. She wanted to use a personal e-mail account for convenience and simplicity, streamlining to one device.
Clinton said she used one device on CNN July 7, 2015, and at a New York press conference March 10.
Truth: Clinton used multiple servers, administrators, and mobile devices, including an iPad and a Blackberry, to access her e-mail on her personal domain.
5. Clinton’s use of a private server and e-mail domain was permitted by law and regulation.
Clinton made this claim in an interview on CNN July 7, 2015; and at the Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas on October 13, 2015.
Truth: A May report issued by the State Department’s inspector general found that it has been department policy since 2005 that work communication be restricted to government servers.
6. All of Clinton’s e-mails were immediately captured by @.gov addresses.
Clinton made this claim at a New York press conference May 10, 2015.
Truth: The State Department did not begin automatically capturing and preserving e-mails until February 2015, two years after Clinton left the State Department.
7. There were numerous safeguards against security breaches and “no evidence” of hacking.
Clinton made the “safeguards” claim at a New York press conference March 10, 2015, and her former tech aide made the “no evidence” claim March 3, 2016.
Truth: Among the “safeguards” of Clinton’s server were Secret Service members – but this is no safeguard at all where the Internet is concerned.
8. Clinton was never served a subpoena on her e-mail use.
Clinton said this in a CNN interview July 7, 2015.
Truth: The next day, July 8, the chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Trey Gowdy, accused Clinton of lying about not receiving a subpoena. Gowdy said, “The committee has issued several subpoenas, but I have not sought to make them public. I would not make this one public now, but after Secretary Clinton falsely claimed the committee did not subpoena her, I have no choice in order to correct the inaccuracy.”
Now, for the most stunning part of the congressional hearing with Mr. Comey. Twice, he “excused” Clinton for putting national security at risk because she “lacked the necessary sophistication.”
So we are considering for President of the United States a candidate who avoided indictment on the basis of lacking the sophistication to conduct her communications in a way that was legal.
Will any of this matter? Probably not. While a recent poll shows that 56 percent are “troubled” by her lies, her supporters will not really care any more than Trump’s supporters will abandon him the next time he says something crazy.
Did Mrs. Clinton lie? According to the Director of the FBI – yes. Eight times – at least.
Why did she lie? To cover her lack of “sophistication.” So said the FBI Director.