15 emails miss­ing from Clin­ton cache: US State Dep­tart­ment

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY BRADLEY KLAPPER AND MATTHEW LEE

The U.S. State Depart­ment has been un­able to find in its records all or part of 15 work-re­lated emails from Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton’s pri­vate server that were re­leased this week by a House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives panel in­ves­ti­gat­ing the 2012 at­tack in Beng­hazi, Libya, of­fi­cials said Thurs­day.

The emails all pre­date the Sept. 11 as­sault on the U.S. diplo­matic fa­cil­ity and in­clude scant words writ­ten by Clin­ton her­self, the of­fi­cials said. They con­sist of more in a se­ries of would-be in­tel­li­gence re­ports passed to her by long­time po­lit­i­cal con­fi­dant Sid­ney Blu­men­thal, the of­fi­cials said.

Nev­er­the­less, the fact that the State Depart­ment says it can’t find them among emails she pro­vided surely will raise new ques­tions about Clin­ton’s use of a per­sonal email ac­count and server while sec­re­tary of state and whether she has pro­vided the agency all of her work-re­lated cor­re­spon­dence, as she claims.

“She has turned over 55,000 pages of ma­te­ri­als to the State Depart­ment, in­clud­ing all emails in her pos­ses­sion from Mr. Blu­men­thal,” said Nick Mer­rill, a Clin­ton cam­paign spokesman, when asked about the dis­crep­ancy.

Clin­ton is run­ning for the 2016 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.

Clin­ton’s use of the non-gov­ern­ment email while in of­fice was kept hid­den from all but a small cir­cle of aides, out­side ad­vis­ers, fam­ily mem­bers and friends. She says the sin­gle ac­count for per­sonal and pro­fes­sional pur­poses was a mat­ter of con­ve­nience, and says all her work emails were in­cluded in the 55,000 pages of doc­u­ments she later handed over to the State Depart­ment. Emails of a per­sonal na­ture were de­stroyed, she says.

As for 46 other, pre­vi­ously un­re­leased Libya- re­lated Blu­men­thal emails pub­lished by the com­mit­tee, of­fi­cials said all are in the depart­ment’s records. They weren’t handed over to con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­cause they had no rel­e­vance to events in Beng­hazi and did not cor­re­spond to the com­mit­tee’s re­quest, the of­fi­cials said. The of­fi­cials added that they are will­ing to pro­vide emails out­side the com­mit­tee’s ini­tial re­quest, but warned that do­ing so would re­quire more time.

The emails miss­ing from the State Depart­ment’s records in­clude mis­sives from Blu­men­thal in which he sends media ac­counts about the killing of one of Libyan dic­ta­tor Moam­mar Gad­hafi’s sons, var­i­ous re­ports on in­ter­nal pol­i­tics among Libya’s rebels and news of the as­sas­si­na­tion of a for­mer Gad­hafi min­is­ter in Vi­enna. The last email was sent Aug. 28, 2012, two weeks be­fore the Beng­hazi at­tack, and none fo­cus par­tic­u­larly on the eastern Libyan city.

Clin­ton’s re­sponses are brief. In one from Au­gust 2011, she tells Blu­men­thal she will be in Paris the next day to meet rebel lead­ers and says she had “to re­sort to new iPad” be­cause she didn’t have elec­tric­ity or Black­berry cov­er­age af­ter Hur­ri­cane Irene.

In another from March 2012, she passes on an ad­viser’s skep­ti­cism re­gard­ing one of Blu­men­thal’s re­ports about po­lit­i­cal in­trigue in post-Gad­hafi Libya, say­ing: “This strain credulity based on what I know. Any other info about it?”

And af­ter a long Au­gust 2012 note from Blu­men­thal about Libya’s new in­terim Pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Yousef el- Ma­gariaf, Clin­ton writes: “Another keeper — thanks and please keep ` em com­ing.” Four days later, she re­sponds to a fol­low-up re­ports about el-Ma­gariaf, say­ing: “Fas­ci­nat­ing. I had a very good call w him.”

Clin­ton’s crit­ics are likely to fo­cus less on the sub­stance of the emails than on the fact that they weren’t shared with the State Depart­ment.

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