This Is The Email Scandal We All Conveniently Forget About In 2016

If you walked into a public place and started to say, “Hillary Clinton,” out loud, you’d probably be cut short halfway through by someone yelling, “Emails!”

It is the digital raincloud that’s followed Clinton around since the second she announced she was running for president. While her use of a private server for classified emails was, as FBI Director James Comey stated, “extremely careless,” the Bureau did not recommend charges.

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information,” Director Comey explained in a July press conference, “there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” It was a mistake, and it was one to which Clinton has owned up multiple times.

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Try as she might, she can’t get away from those “damn emails” that even Bernie Sanders grew tired of hearing about. But here’s the thing. She is far from the first person in power to have erased emails or misused private servers.

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A staggering 22 million emails were “lost” during the Bush Administration between 2003 and 2009.

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The private email server that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney used at that time was actually owned by the Republican National Committee (RNC). It was put to use during one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history as we began waging what turned out to be an ill-executed war against Iraq.

According to Kevin Lamarque of Reuters, “The Bush administration failed to store its emails, as required by law, and then refused to comply with a congressional subpoena seeking some of those emails.”

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Eric Boehlert of Media Matters expressed his concern about the situation, since some estimates state that the Bush Administration stored 95 percent of all email correspondence among chief advisers on the RNC’s private server.

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There were also significant blackout periods in emails to and from Dick Cheney. It’s unlikely that such a powerful vice president went even one day without communicating via email, let alone weeks.

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The 1978 Presidential Records Act (PRA) states that all administration records are owned by the public and not the President. The fact that Bush and Cheney sent emails on private servers (and then lost 22 million of those emails) is in direct violation of the PRA.

“These were emails that had to do with something as consequential as going to war — starting a war in Iraq that has arguably caused every one of the problems that we’re facing in the world today, from ISIS, to the economy, to refugees,” one correspondent from Newsweek said.

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When Bill Clinton took office, there was an auto-archive feature on all emails, but the Bush administration apparently used the RNC server to circumvent that feature.

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For the record, no reckless handling of classified information is justifiable. But by looking into this oft-forgotten case, it’s easy to see that rage over Hillary Clinton’s offenses is grossly disproportionate to the total lack thereof directed toward Bush’s.

To learn more, be sure to check out this report.

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