With the supposedly “liberal” mainstream media obsesses over Hillary Clinton’s e-mail “scandal”, one wonders why the Bush administration did not receive more scrutiny after an April 12, 2007 revelation that the White House had “lost” 5 million e-mails related to an investigation into the partisan firing of eight U.S. attorneys. Eventually, the true number was found to be over 22 million e-mails.
Salon reports that:
The emails had been run through private accounts controlled by the Republican National Committee and were only supposed to be used for dealing with non-administration political campaign work to avoid violating ethics laws. Yet congressional investigators already had evidence private emails had been used for government business, including to discuss the firing of one of the U.S. attorneys. The RNC accounts were used by 22 White House staffers, including then-Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who reportedly used his RNC email for 95 percent of his communications.
According to the Washington Post, “Under federal law, the White House is required to maintain records, including e-mails, involving presidential decision- making and deliberations.” But, of course, these millions of e-mails went missing — many of which were important evidence.
“The White House email story broke on a Wednesday. Yet on that Sunday’s Meet The Press, Face The Nation, and Fox News Sunday, the topic of millions of missing White House emails did not come up,” Salon notes. “At all.
As Rove and others were investigated for the partisan “unmasking” of Valerie Plame, a CIA black market specialist, it came to light that Rove’s server was used for official communications — the exact sort required to be preserved under the Presidential Records Act.
“I wouldn’t rule out that there were a potential 5 million e-mails lost,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said at the time. By 2009, it was revealed that Perino’s numbers were a little off when 22 million missing e-mails were discovered.
What these e-mails contain is still anyone’s guess, but this actual scandal received very little media attention. Politifact did some checking, and found “more than 125 transcripts from the major cable networks and National Public Radio that include ‘Republican National Committee’ and ’email’ within 10 words of each other.” In addition, they discovered over “200 related newspaper articles across the country within the same time frame.”
That may sound like a lot, but let’s compare to the Clinton “scandal.” In just two weeks, Politifact found “204 cable and public radio transcripts that include “Clinton” and “email.” We also found 1,700 newspaper articles across the country.”
Republicans have been beating the war drums over Hillary Clinton’s e-mails — and why not? In a recent CNN/ORC poll, Clinton’s changes of winning against each of her potential Republican opponents look pretty good. The closest race, judging from the pol, would be Clinton versus Rand Paul — with Clinton polling 11 points ahead.
No matter what one might choose to think about Clinton, nothing she did was illegal. Clinton turned over 55,000 e-mails from her personal account last year when they were requested, omitting only personal e-mails, many of which were related to her mother’s death, family drama, and her daughter’s marriage.
“No one wants their personal emails made public, and I think most people understand that and respect that privacy,” Clinton said of the e-mails that were deleted after her staff determined they were not work-related.
Republicans are hoping that, by forcing Clinton to turn over even her personal e-mails, they can uncover evidence of an already-debunked “stand-down” order as they continue to beat the dead horse that is Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.