A week ago Hillary Clinton’s allies accused the State Department Inspector General’s office of belonging to the vast right-wing conspiracy. So you have to admire her chutzpah this week in trying to spin a memo from that same office to exonerate her use of a renegade private email server. All the more so because the new memo strengthens the case that she mishandled national secrets.
In Thursday’s Democratic debate, Mrs. Clinton hailed a new document from State IG Steve Linick that summarizes his view of the email practices of five prior Secretaries of State. The memo says he found a few instances of “sensitive material” sent to the private email accounts of Republicans Colin Powell and staffers to Condoleezza Rice.
“Now you have these people in the government who are doing the same thing [to Powell and Rice’s aides] they’ve been doing to me,” claimed Mrs. Clinton—that is, “retroactively classifying” documents. “I agree with Secretary Powell, who said today this is an absurdity.”
Ah, yes, the old everybody-does-it defense. Mrs. Clinton wants Americans to believe it was common practice for top diplomats to use private email, and that they are all now subject to overzealous interagency squabbling over classification. By Friday Democrats were spinning that Mrs. Clinton is a political victim for having been singled out. Her media phalanx is buying this line, though the Powell and Rice details prove the opposite—and how reckless Mrs. Clinton was by comparison.