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Grill Loretta Lynch about Hillary’s ‘homebrew’ email scandal

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Attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch is qualified to serve as the top law enforcement official in the United States, and she should easily accumulate the votes needed to enter into her job — unless she is unwilling to answer questions about her opinion on how to proceed via-a-vis former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s “homebrew” server and the who knows how many emails which originated or were received on that server in the past six years.

If the Senate returns the nomination of Lynch to the Judiciary Committee for an additional hearing on these questions, all senators of both parties should press the would-be AG for an iron clad commitment to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate thoroughly the circumstances of the former secretary of state’s egregious breach of law, regulation and internal State Department policies and procedures.

A Wired magazine article from last week by Andy Greenberg gets to the heart of the matter in its headline: “Why Clinton’s Private Email Server Was Such A Security Fail.” Greenberg noted that “the security community is focused … on the possibility that an unofficial, unprotected server held the communications of America’s top foreign affairs official for four years, leaving all of it potentially vulnerable to state-sponsored hackers.”

Imagine the woe that would befall the country if China, Iran or Russia had access to the email of secretary of state John Kerry right now as he negotiates on many fronts where American interests are in retreat. Now just assume that one or more of those countries did have such access during Hillary’s entire tenure (and afterwards as she continued to use the server post-State Department). That is the heart of the scandal, and it is a scandal.

Many folks who have never seen a secret, top secret, or SCI document instantly recognize the problem here and its potential enormity.

But if you think “What’s the big deal about a homebrew?”, ask yourself whether, through all of the various testimonies given to various congressional committees about various incidents abroad, Clinton received briefing papers and talking points plus background information via her private email, and the consequences of compromise of those communications to the state actors being discussed. It isn’t espionage of the Edward Snowden sort of course, because it wasn’t an intentional violation of secrecy law, but it is most definitely reckless disregard for the security of America.

Hillary put her own desire for secrecy ahead of the country’s need for security. That’s the bottom line. Who knows whose lives were put in danger if sensitive sources were discussed via this server and a hostile state was watching and reading every word?

With this abuse Hillary has continued the Clinton pattern we have grown used to since Bill and Hillary invaded our lives a quarter century ago: They are the “Two Rules” Clintons, with one set of rules for themselves and one set of rules for everyone else.

Lynch should be asked whether there are any circumstances where a joint effort between Clinton and her inner ring to construct, maintain and hide such a server violates federal law. If Lynch answers that it is possible — and how else could she answer given that we don’t know what has been destroyed or why? — then senators should press for an iron clad commitment to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter. If Lynch refuses to make such a commitment, every senator will have to decide if that refusal is grounds to reject her nomination.

In addition to reopened Lynch hearings, the House and Senate oversight committees should summon every Cabinet member and head of agency to testify under oath immediately as to whether they maintain their own homebrews and whether they conduct official business via unofficial channels. Hillary’s conduct seems certain to emerge as uniquely contemptuous of the security concerns of the country.

Homebrew is just beginning but the next act should involve some on-the-record and under-oath testimony from Loretta Lynch.


This column was originally posted on



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