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Hillary Clinton’s creation of an email server that has been running out of her home to handle her official State Department emails is the equivalent of theft of government property. After all, her official communications are government property. And although we may never be able to see her historically critical emails, we can at least take a glimpse into email from one of her top aides, in which the aide, Phillippe Reines, scolds reporters for allegedly un-factual coverage of his emailing habits.

Reines, a veteran Clinton aide, was responding to an email from reporter C.J. Ciaramella. Ciaramella had asked Reines to comment on a Gawker story by J.K. Trotter, reporting that Reines and Clinton aide Huma Abedin also engaged in improper/illegal private email use reflecting Clinton’s own now-documented and admitted improper/illegal private email use. The Gawker article alleged that Reines and Abedin used private email accounts to conduct official business while employed by the State Department as Clinton aides.

Reines, in an email addressed to Trotter, which he also copied to reporters at the Washington Post and CNN, wrote this:

"If your lying liar pants on fire source worked with me at a federal agency as you and they contend, did you ask them to provide even a single email exchange with my using that account?”

Classy. Trotter responded to Reines, noting that the State Department denied a 2012 FOIA request for email exchanges between Reines and Michael Hastings on the ground that there was no record of Reines having ever emailed Hastings, even though Hastings documented receipt of (expletive-filled) emails from Reines pertaining to State Department business. Reines again replied:

"Is your cockamamie theory that the reason there is no record of my emailing with reporters is because I improperly used my personal email address to email with those reporters in an attempt to circumvent FOIA, and that every one of the many reporters you reasonably assume I emailed with are in on this conspiracy of having only emailed with me on my non-official email?"

An additional FOIA request by Gawker to the State Department that would sort all this out is currently “pending.” In the meantime, we can marvel at Mr. Reines’ umbrage taken at merely being accused of doing something that his boss has now already been confirmed to have done in spades, and that is to hide from public view, and public access, documents belonging to the public.

 

 

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