More E-Mail Deception From State: Does Anybody Care? Well, I Do. And You?

Another day, another Hillary advisor, another scandal...

Another day, another Hillary advisor, another scandal…

The private server of Hillary Clinton isn’t the only intrigue going on the should make us wonder just how corrupt our leaders and aspiring leaders are. There has been a new development involving another set of emails that should cause public outrage and alarm…if the news media had the integrity to report on it.

In 2012, Gawker filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking the State Department to produce e-mails related to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines (now a top Hillary Clinton adviser) and his contacts with  thirty-three listed media outlets. Reines was involved in an intemperate email exchange with Gawker journalist Michael Hastings in which he told Hastings to “fuck off;” naturally Gawker, being Gawker, wanted to dig up dirt on him.

[It’s a side issue, but any high ranking government official  that tells any journalist to “fuck off” should be forced to apologize and be punished or sacked.  This just one more example of the Obama Administration’s aversion to accountability and management competence.]

The U.S. State Department officially stated in 2013 that there were no such emails, reporting that “After a thorough search . . . no records responsive to your request were located.”

Last week, after a federal judge demanded a“court-ordered status report,” Justice Department lawyers, reporting on behalf of the State Department, announced that the previous statement was a teeny bit off. The State Department had found of “5.5 gigabytes of data containing 81,159 emails of varying length” sent or received by Reines, of which about 17,855, or 22%, were relevant to the initial FOIA request.


Professor Turley is properly aghast:

“From 0 to 17,855 and no one seems particularly bothered by the false statement of the State Department in its early response to the lawful request under FOIA. No one is under review at the State Department for possible termination or even discipline. No one is being transferred or retrained. The government first says that there were no emails and then is forced to admit that there are potentially thousands. It is being treated as just another day in the life of our government…It has become all too predictable for agencies to deny everything and wait to see if they are forced to fess up to the truth on such evidence. This occurs because no one in government is held accountable by the courts.”

I would edit Turley’s statement to “no one in the Obama administration is held accountable by their superiors, who are not held responsible by the President, and then nobody is held responsible by the courts….up to a point.”

You are correct if you assume that this “correction” only occurred because of the increased scrutiny created by the ongoing drama of Hillary Clinton’s disintegrating game of e-mail hide and seek, which the State Department illegally allowed her to play and the Obama Administration negligently refused to stop while it was going on. When judges get involved in addressing high level stonewalling and cover-ups is when matters can become serious.Some recent posts here about misbehaving judges have sparked discussions about the imperial personalities of our black-robed arbiters, but this is the silver lining. They don’t like being lied to, messed with, and defied, and when you cross them, don’t expect the fact that they may belong to your political party to save you. It was a ticked-off judge, the late John Sirica, who cracked Watergate. The “transparent” minions of Barack Obama, especially Hillary and her enablers, are on extremely thin ice.

We may be reaching the cracking point, for example, in the IRS scandal. Today the news was, courtesy of the invaluable daily updates by Professor Paul Caron, like Turley a blogging law professor of note,

“Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration’s efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner’s actions during the tea party targeting scandal. The admission came in an open-records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has sued to get a look at emails Ms. Lerner sent during the targeting. IRS lawyer Geoffrey J. Klimas told the court that as the agency was putting together a set of documents to turn over to Judicial Watch, it realized Ms. Lerner had used yet another email account, in addition to her official one and another personal one already known to the agency.”

How someone, anyone, can read about the State Department casually changing its response to a lawful FOIA response from a news organization from “Nope! Nothing!” to “Wait, we miscounted! Seventeen thousand, eight hundred and fifty-five!” and still trust Clinton’s assertions that no incriminating e-mails were destroyed or that the government hasn’t been deceiving the public here and elsewhere is a mystery to me, unless a significant proportion of the population just wants a totalitarian government so they don’t have to think about anything, and can just follow orders. This isn’t trivial, and it should be terrifying. Why isn’t it?

I know, I know, I keep asking the same question.

For the time being, I’ll just ponder Jonathan Turley’s conclusion that Reines’ answer to Hastings…that is, “Fuck you!”— reflects the response of the entire State Department to the American people.

16 thoughts on “More E-Mail Deception From State: Does Anybody Care? Well, I Do. And You?

  1. And all of this represents why Trump is currently riding a wave.

    The good news, to further strain the metaphor, is that he’s a long way from shore, the wave is breaking, the water is shallow, the bottom rough coral.

    All of this is coming at a good time.

    • And some GOP contenders have good surf boarsds, and the states are going to construct some breakwaters.
      And he’s an idiot. He is guaranteed to self destruct. Guaranteed. Hubris always gets people like this, just like it got Bill, and just like it is getting Hillary.

      • I agree to a point, Jack, but how did hubris “get” Bill? The Monica affair largely didn’t stick to him, he left office a revered figure among liberals, and he is right now the most popular ex-president out there. He does not have the faux moral gravitas of Carter (whose death essay I am dusting off), but he also does not need to essentially hide like GWB, who indeed may never travel abroad for fear some Baltasar Garzon wannabe may try to have him jailed. Bill’s personal likeability and charm I think to some degree trumps his arrogance and hubris. Hillary is at best not very likeable and at worst not likeable at all, and her limited charm supply is tapping out more than a year before the election. Trump is also limited in the charm department, but he hasn’t quite tapped out his supply. Once he does, his ranting is just going to become tedious.

        • Liberals and Democrats can spin all they want, but Clinton was impeached, it did scar his legacy badly, and he will be remembered more for getting hummers in the White House than anything else.

          • Gotcha, and I agree, it DID seriously wound his legacy, not to mention embarrass the office, it just didn’t take him down all the way by forcing him to resign. Hillary’s hubris is looking more and more like it WILL take her down all the way by making her drop out of the race or causing her to lose.

  2. Let’s always recall that progressives in this site value policy positions of an executive who doesn’t make legislation over their ethical leadership which is their actual job.

  3. ” ponder Jonathan Turley’s conclusion that Reines’ answer to Hastings…that is, “Fuck you!”— reflects the response of the entire State Department to the American people.”

    Exactly. And some American people seem to think that somehow Trump, as a return FU to politicians and politics, will solve the problem.

    The inability of a significant percentage of the population to recognize how counterproductive electing yet another narcissistic bomb thrower are frightening to contemplate.

  4. When are these lawyers “representing” the State Department and the IRS going to be sanctioned by the courts and suspended or dis-barred by their bar associations? How are they allowed to get away with this?

    Reminds me of the good Saturday Night Live take off of an H&R Block ad I remember making the rounds when I was in law school which went something like “Here at H&R Block, we’ll accompany you to your audit and prepare you to effectively answer all the IRS’s questions about your unreported income.” Pan to taxpayer shrugging and raising his hands a la HRC and answering, “I … FORGOT!”

  5. I am very doubtful that it will come to this, Trump vs. Clinton, but if it does, we are doomed. One of them will win, and we…all of us…will lose.

  6. “When judges get involved in addressing high level stonewalling and cover-ups is when matters can become serious.”

    I’m not sure. I haven’t seen a judge in years slap a serious penalty on any powerful government employee or politician for serious misconduct. I look at the case below against Sierra Pacific. The US and California governments out and out framed Sierra Pacific for this forest fire. What is going to happen now? Will the judge make the government give back the $55 million fine AND the 22,000 acres of land Sierra Pacific had to give to the government? Will anyone be fired? Jailed? Fined? Probably the best thing Sierra Pacific can hope for is their money back. A just punishment would be the disbarment of all the attorneys involved (dozens or hundreds), a $110 million fine against the government and the forfeiture of 44,000 acres of government land to Sierra Pacific. Would any judge have the guts to do that? I haven’t seen a case where a judge has ordered serious penalties against such wrongdoing when it would have rocked the boat. Usually, the penalties end up being just a ‘do over’ or so minor that it was actually profitable to engage in the wrongdoing in THAT case, much less a disincentive to not do it in others.

    I think the point when I noticed the cowardice of the bench was the Intel vs. DEC case. Intel stole DEC’s patented math coprocessor design and used it (as the only real improvement over the 486) in the Pentium, Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium IV etc without permission. The proof was undeniable. The even had the paper trail that showed Intel knew what they were doing. The penalties would have been so large that Intel would have been forced to turn over fabrication plants to DEC. This would have changed the semiconductor world, as Intel owned over half of those plants in the world. Rather than rule on the merits of the case, the judge allowed Intel to purchase DEC in a hostile takeover without antitrust hearings, drop the case (as the new owners), and sell off DEC in parts to avoid any anticompetitive issues that might come from buying a major rival. Little guy goes up against big guy for picking on him. Judge allows big guy to buy little guy as a slave and dismember him for daring to think that justice exists.

  7. I can’t do anything about Hillary because I’m not a registered Democrat. So let me just say this to our friends to the Left: If she’s the candidate you put forward, then you won’t have my vote. I can entertain the idea of almost any other candidate (no matter how silly) but Hillary is a non-starter.

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