The Corner

Politics & Policy

Hillary Clinton Is Trying to Pull a Fast One

I haven’t followed the Hillary Clinton e-mail server scandal that closely, but I heard her on NPR yesterday, and I just want to focus on one specific thing she said that struck me as a bit too clever, like one of those Clintonesque sleights-of-hand we’re all so familiar with. During her interview on All Things Considered, she said,”I’m just going to leave it up to the professionals at the Justice Department, because nothing that this [latest report] says changes the fact that I never sent or received material marked classified.”

I want to point out something that everyone who has held a security clearance knows, including Clinton, which is that classified information includes material marked classified AND any information derived from material that is marked classified. If Secretary Clinton read a Top Secret document with intel about how the Benghazi attack was preplanned, and then sent someone an e-mail over an unclassified network saying, “You won’t believe what I just read, apparently the attack on Benghazi was planned months in advance,” she would be guilty of having mishandled classified information. She would be able to say that she never sent or received material marked classified, but that’s totally irrelevant if she communicated any part of the classified substance of a classified document that she was privy to in a classified setting.

It’s really hard not to suspect that she’s playing a stratagem, emphatically pleading innocent to a slightly different crime than the one she’s suspected of having committed, hoping that you won’t know the difference.

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola, a former White House speechwriter and environmental adviser, is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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