It is certainly ironic, if unsurprising, that a man who won the White House on a campaign against public records scofflaws has been caught apparently violating public records laws and trying to cover it up. But if you go online and mention the parallels between Clinton’s misdeeds and Trump’s misdeeds, be prepared for some screeching, but also some very specific denials.
Hillary did not take action to hide public records from authorities
— Justin Payne (@crashfrog) June 11, 2023
The frequency of this flat assertion makes me think that some people missed or forgot some of the story of Hillary Clinton’s secret email.
Clinton created a private email server and made the decision to conduct all of her official business on an email address on that server rather than on the State.gov server. She didn’t tell the government authorities about this, and despite being required to get permission, she never asked permission.
This illegal and secret arrangement allowed Hillary to determine which of her emails should be considered public records. Just as Donald Trump doesn’t get to determine which records are personal and which are presidential records, Hillary wasn’t legally allowed to make that determination about her Secretary of State records. So it’s pretty clear she set up a system with the intention of breaking the law by hiding official records from the authorities.
She then broke the law by hiding and attempting to hide official records from authorities. She instructed her lawyers to delete tens of thousands of her emails which she swore up and down were personal, not public records. Luckily the DOJ was able to undelete some of those emails and found that contrary to her promises, some of the emails she deleted were public records.
We should, of course, assume that the permanently deleted emails included public records. There’s no reason to believe otherwise. This is also why the government doesn’t let officials be their own judges of which emails are public records. In my opinion, it’s also exactly why Hillary really wanted to host her own emails.
Are Trump’s actions worse? Maybe! In some ways yes, and in some ways no. Should either or both have been prosecuted? That’s a very complicated question.
What’s not complicated is this: Hillary Clinton deliberately hid and destroyed public records.