On Tuesday’s edition of Morning Joe, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell called Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while serving as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 “an absolutely unacceptable choice.”
While O’Donnell said that he doubted that Clinton’s unreleased e-mails contain “any big smoking gun,” he remained staunchly critical of her failure to follow federal record-keeping protocols.
“It goes back to the original issue which is the proper custodial preservation of State Department e-mails and all of the rules and protocols on that were violated,” O’Donnell said to Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough. “There is no question about it. It was very clearly in violation.”
When the State Department first revealed in March that Clinton had used a private e-mail server during her tenure as Secretary of State, the news was met with widespread outrage. Some observers even alleged that Clinton’s actions may have been a felony violation of the Federal Records Act, which states that all official government records must be preserved.
In a press conference a week after the story broke, Clinton tried to pass off the decision to use a private server as a matter of “convenience.” The former Secretary of State said that she turned over 55,000 pages of e-mails to the State Department, but didn’t include “personal” e-mails for the sake of family “privacy.” She claimed several of the e-mails were discussions with her husband, President Bill Clinton, who has said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t use e-mail.
O’Donnell said Clinton’s claim that the only e-mails she’d withheld from the State Department were personal and unrelated to official business was unverifiable, since the public hasn’t seen those e-mails. And he added flatly that we’re likely “never going to know” what was in them. Scarborough agreed, saying “We won’t know, unfortunately, because she wiped out the server.”
#related#”Yeah,” O’Donnell replied, “and if you care at all about the Freedom of Information Act, which is what liberals should care about here, that was an absolutely unacceptable choice from the start that she used an e-mail system that way, and then that she deleted it.”
“That was to contradict the Freedom of Information Act. American’s freedom, the press’s freedom to be able to request these kind of documents. That’s what it was about.”
— Julia Porterfield is an intern at National Review, editor-in-chief of Red Millennial, and a junior at Regent University.