No Seriously They're Investigating Everyone Who Ever Sent Hillary Clinton An Email, No We're Not Kidding
The State Department has been "investigating" more than a hundred current and former employees who sent emails that ended up on Hillary Clinton's private server, the Washington Post revealed over the weekend. According to some of the people who've been informed that their completely ordinary emails have been retroactively marked as "classified," even the investigators think the whole thing is stupid, and have apologized for having to ask questions about old emails. The Post reports that "as many as 130 officials" have been targeted in the probe, including many who didn't send anything to Clinton directly, but whose emails were then forwarded by higher level officials to Clinton. This is a very good use of government time!
We're especially impressed that one anonymous State Department official managed to keep a straight face while insisting the renewed urgency in the investigation had nothing to do with politics, no, no, no:
This has nothing to do with who is in the White House [...] This is about the time it took to go through millions of emails, which is about 3½ years.
The report is careful to point out several times that the staffers being investigated don't appear to have been handling anything classified at all, just routine diplomatic communications going back as far as 2009. In fact, the story notes that at the time, Foreign Service officers were using BlackBerrys that were just plain incapable of sending classified emails.
In many cases, the incidents appear to center on the sending of information attributed to foreign officials, including summaries of phone conversations with foreign diplomats — a routine occurrence among State Department employees.
There is no indication in any of the materials reviewed by The Post that the emails under scrutiny contained sensitive information about classified U.S. initiatives or programs [...] The messages came in through "regular email" and then were forwarded through official — though unclassified — State Department channels.
In other instances officials were relaying email summaries of time-sensitive conversations with foreign leaders conducted over unclassified cellphones.
But now, say "several officials involved in the investigation," those ordinary boring messages have been "upclassified" or "reclassified," even though the State Department staffers weren't even trying to get foreign leaders to gather dirt on political opponents. Gee, that's some pretty interesting timing, huh? Probably all a coincidence.
The whole mess looks like an effort to wreck the careers of people who committed the offense of serving under Hillary Clinton. While it doesn't look like anyone faces criminal prosecution, just being investigated could cause career trouble:
[Many] fear the results of the probe will damage their reputations and complicate their ability to maintain security clearances.
Several said they have received follow-on letters saying that investigators "determined that the [security] incident is valid," but that they did not "bear any individual culpability" — an ambiguous designation that could pose complications in future background checks and confirmation hearings.
"It gives them a way to hassle pretty much anyone," a former senior U.S. official said.
After all, we can't go around giving security clearances to people who were investigated for sending classified secrets to Hillary Clinton. Security clearances are for presidential family members, not evildoers.
Not even the State Department cops -- from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security -- seem to think this is a huge priority; WaPo reports that several people who'd been investigated said the investigators "made it clear that they were pursuing the matter reluctantly, and under external pressure." One of the sources told the Post that investigators were downright "apologetic" about the job they'd been sent to do. "They realize how absurd it is."
Well there's another traitor to America who needs to be ferreted out, plus the investigators who rolled their eyes or whatever.
One former "senior U.S. official familiar with the email investigation" said the investigation was nothing more than a way for TrumpWorld "to keep the Clinton email issue alive" and to "tarnish a whole bunch of Democratic foreign policy people," preventing them from working in government or advancing their careers.
Gee, there's a colloquial term about fishing expeditions designed to ruin your enemies, a reference to unfounded charges of witchcraft, but we just can't seem to recall it for some reason.
UPDATE: Heh. Nicely played, Madame Secretary.
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