The State Department’s inspector general released its report on the email practices of Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. The report “badly complicates Clinton’s past explanations about the server and whether she complied fully with the laws in place governing electronic communication.” The Washington Post:
Clinton used an inappropriate method of preserving her documents. Her approach would not have been approved if it had been requested by a more junior member of the State Department staff. The report also suggests that despite a Clinton aide’s insistence that the method of preserving her emails had been submitted to a legal review back in 2010, there is no evidence that such a review took place. And, here’s the kicker: Clinton refused to sit for a formal interview.
Oomph. Double oomph. Heck, that might merit a triple oomph.
The Clinton campaign will push back hard on this report — as it has against anything that suggests she was at all in the wrong in the creation and protection of her email server. Here’s how her press secretary, Brian Fallon, put it on Twitter: Clinton’s team has spent months casting the State Department Inspector General’s Office as overly aggressive and working hand in hand with congressional Republicans to cast the former secretary of state in the worst possible light.
That’s a very hard story to sell given that the current inspector general was appointed by President Obama. It is, by the way, the same problem Clinton faces when she tries to cast skepticism on the ongoing FBI investigation. This is an FBI that is overseen by an attorney general — Loretta E. Lynch — who was also appointed by Obama. It’s tough to make the case that a Democratic administration filled with Democratic appointees are all somehow out to get the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz may see her tenure as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman cut short. Democrats on Capitol Hill are discussing whether she should step down before her party’s national convention in July. The Hill,
Democrats backing likely presidential nominee Hillary Clinton worry Wasserman Schultz has become too divisive a figure to unify the party in 2016, which they say is crucial to defeating presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in November.
Wasserman Schultz has had an increasingly acrimonious relationship with the party’s other presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters, who argue she has tilted the scales in Clinton’s favor….
The lawmaker said senators huddled on the chamber floor last week to talk about Wasserman Schultz’s future and estimated that about a dozen have weighed in during private conversations…
There is no indication Wasserman Schultz, who is also a Florida congresswoman, has any plans to leave her post. And Senate sources stress that a final decision won’t be made until Clinton and Sanders negotiate some type of deal aimed at healing the party. President Obama, who selected Wasserman Schultz as chairwoman in 2011, is expected to play a major role in any such talks.
Democrats have reason to be “uneasy over a rocky finish that has [Hillary] Clinton spending resources and political capital so late in the process.” Politico,
“The defeat in Indiana I was just horrified at, frankly,” said former Democratic National Committee chairman Don Fowler, a Clinton backer, echoing others who say that for the moment it’s more of an annoyance than a deep concern about the candidate. “The longer Bernie stays in, and the longer he is not mathematically out of the process, the weaker we’re going to seem to be.”
Clinton is still on track to pass the threshold to clinch the nomination at some point in June using a combination of pledged delegates and superdelegates, and her lead among pledged delegates remains above 275. That makes it extremely difficult for Sanders to catch up to her unless he can win over a large number of the party elites who vote regardless of their state’s decision. Yet the Clinton campaign, cognizant of the need to show respect to Sanders’ legion of devoted supporters, is unable to initiate the call to unite behind her candidacy.
Bryan Pagliano, the former Hillary Clinton staffer who helped her maintain a private email server, still refuses to appear before Senate committees investigating the matter. The AP,
The Senate committees on the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees had renewed their request to question Bryan Pagliano about the server after news broke that the Justice Department, which is also investigating the server, had offered him immunity.
Committee leaders had told Pagliano that the immunity grant should relieve any concerns he had about being prosecuted if he testified and they requested that he appear before them. He had refused to speak with lawmakers last year, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in declining to answer questions about the server and email setup.
But Pagliano’s attorney, Mark MacDougall, said in a March 11 letter obtained by The Associated Press on Friday that Pagliano would continue to “respectfully decline” their invitation.