Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Clinton's e-mail controversy gets murkier and nastier.

Clinton’s calculation seems clear: By framing the controversy over the private e-mail server as a good-faith dispute between two government bureaucracies, she can divert attention from her own culpability in placing so much sensitive information in her own house. But that strategy depends on the State Department standing by her.

That may be changing, at least in public. Whereas in August, department officials said they were confident their own review of the e-mails revealed no information marked classified at the time it was sent, their public line is now less definitive.

“Our FOIA review process is still ongoing. Once that process is complete, if it is determined that information should be classified as Top Secret we will do so,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told me in a statement.

Intelligence officials, even inspectors general, are not immune from politics, both internal and partisan. But Clinton’s team simply cannot prove that McCullough is leaking against them. Her campaign can only muddy the waters and delay until the FBI finishes its work. If the Clinton campaign decides then to go after the FBI, it will be picking a fight with an even more formidable opponent.