Hillary Clinton’s email scandals keep getting worse for her campaign. But the latest episode is not just more of the same. In fact, it provides a glimpse into why Clinton tried so hard to shield her own secrets from public view even if it meant putting the nation’s sensitive information at risk.After a lengthy court battle, the anti-corruption group Judicial Watch finally gained 296 more pages of records from the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in Washington. Publicly released Aug. 9, the document dump includes emails between senior Clinton aide and confidante Huma Abedin and a Clinton Foundation top official that reveal the depth of the Clinton machine’s meddling in official matters.But as usual with political scandals, there are two aspects to the email controversy: the corruption itself and the cover-up efforts. In another testimonial to the “most transparent administration in history,” Judicial Watch had to go through the courts to retrieve the emails. The documents should have been released in 2015 following a Freedom of Information Act request from the group, which is led by conservatives but has advocated for openness from administrations of both parties. Judicial Watch had asked for all work-related emails Abedin sent or received from January 2009 through February 2013 from her non-governmental email address. (Abedin, of course, should not have been conducting public business on a â¨”non-.gov” email account.)To recap: Judicial Watch needed to go to court to prevent the State Department from breaking federal law to hide emails from an account that a senior official at that department created to avoid having to release them under that law. Transparency indeed.All that deviousness aside, what do the emails show? They show the long arm of the “nonprofit” Clinton Foundation, an outfit that has raised billions of dollars worldwide as fuel for the Clinton political machine (and probably some philanthropy as well).One State Department email exchange in particular, between Abedin and Doug Band, a top official at the Clinton Foundation, has the Clinton campaign cringing. It involves getting special treatment for a foreign Foundation donor.”We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance person re Lebanon,” Band wrote in 2009. “As you know, he’s a key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp.”Perhaps the most disturbing part of the Chagoury email exchange is Band’s tone. He’s giving direction to Abedin, not merely asking for assistance. It’s a superior talking to an inferior. When Abedin says she will talk to Jeffrey Feltman, the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon at the time, Band writes back 15 minutes later at 4:33 on a Saturday afternoon “Better if you call him [Chagoury.] Now preferable”.Chagoury, it turns out, has donated at least â¨$1 million to the Foundation and has pledged â¨$1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative.We shouldn’t be too surprised here. After all, right on its website the Clinton Foundation says “We believe that the best way to unlock human potential is through the power of creative collaboration, such as connecting Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire foundation donors to senior American diplomats through State Department back channels.” OK, I made that last part up.But the emails reveal a relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department that was not just about access. It was about control. And this is just the iceberg’s tip that we can see. If they were willing to put this kind of exchange in writing, just imagine what Clinton’s phone conversations with foreign Foundation donors were like.One would have to be incredibly naÃ¯ve to believe that this scandal is not indicative of how Hillary Clinton worked in Foggy Bottom and how she would run the country.There are plenty of questions about how Donald Trump would operate as president. But it’s now abundantly clear how Clinton would operate.
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