State Department Reopens Probe Into Hillary Clinton’s Emails, Contacts 130 Officials
The White House is probing the email records of multiple current and former State Department officials who sent messages to Clinton’s private email account during her tenure as the country’s top diplomat. The controversy, which included allegations of Clinton acid-washing more than 30,000 emails, became a major focus of the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign.
Former FBI Director James Comey ultimately decided there was insufficient evidence to indict Clinton for her use of a private email server. However, Trump famously said he wanted his 2016 opponent to be further investigated and even prosecuted if found guilty.
The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration has contacted at least 130 current or former State Department officials as part of the investigation into Clinton’s emails. The newspaper noted that the probe was restarted due to concerns over potential mishandling of classified information and other alleged security violations, though critics will see political motivations.
The White House also insisted in comments to the Post that the State Department’s decision to reopen the probe was not simply made because Clinton was Trump’s 2016 opponent. Many former top diplomats who were contacted as part of the investigation also said they believe the revival and widening of the inquiry is a blatant attempt to hurt Democrats’ hopes of retaking the presidency in 2020.
In an interview Monday on MSNBC, former Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines called the Trump administration’s reopening of the email inquiry “unnerving.” Reines also added that State Department officials were being contacted despite having “six degrees of separation” from Clinton, as many of them never directly exchanged emails with the former presidential candidate.
“It’s clearly punitive and it’s retribution,” said Reines after noting that the scandal involving Clinton’s communications first surfaced in 2014 and that the emails that were investigated were dated as far back as 2009. “If you go back the way the Republicans prevented this was the crime of the century.”
Reines also criticized Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for being “part of the gang that can’t shoot straight” and added Pompeo is “clearly taking shots” at staffers from the department.
On Monday, Clinton herself appeared to take a jab at Trump, his administration and Republicans in general by responding to a tweet from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California). Harris, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, praised the former Secretary of State for having “served our country with distinction” and added that Trump has never put the United States’ priorities first. The California Democrat was responding to a link to the Post‘s report about the State Department reopening the inquiry into Clinton’s emails.
“But my emails. (Thank you),” Clinton tweeted, citing a phrase Democrats have often sarcastically used whenever Trump and his administration become caught in a scandal.
But my emails. (Thank you.)
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 30, 2019