Tags: Hillary Clinton | republican | reaction | hillary clinton | private | email | scandal

GOP Strategists: Dems Can't Blame Hillary Email Scandal on Us

By    |   Thursday, 05 March 2015 10:20 PM

Democrats worked vigorously Thursday to contain the exploding controversy over Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account while she was secretary of State, but "they can’t argue that his is some right-wing conspiracy and that the Republicans are trying to shoot her down," GOP strategist Brad Blakeman told Newsmax.

"This isn't manufactured — and this is self-inflicted," said Blakeman, who served in the George W. Bush White House. "She created this. This wasn't created by Republicans. Republicans are reacting to a crisis that she created.

"This is Lois Lerner on steroids," he said, referring to the retired IRS supervisor at the center of the scandal targeting conservative groups.

Bruce Haynes, a Republican and founder of Purple Strategies, a bipartisan consulting firm outside Washington, told Newsmax that the debacle is especially embarrassing for Democrats because "they've essentially put all their chips on one square for the upcoming presidential election — and now, the bet looks riskier every day.

"The whole issue of the separate email server that's locked away in the secret room in the family compound that was set up under a secret proxy is just bewildering and bizarre," he added. "It's exactly the kind of thing that the Clintons want behind them, not in front of them."

Democrats seized quickly Thursday on Clinton's Twitter posting late Wednesday that she wanted the emails released as quickly as possible.

"I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them," Clinton wrote. "They said they will review them for release as soon as possible."

The post came at 11:35 p.m. EST, two days after use of the private account was disclosed by The New York Times.

The State Department cautioned Thursday, however, that several months could be needed to go through the 55,000 pages of emails Clinton turned over last year at the agency's request. A Clinton aide said the trove represented 90 percent of her total online communications, though only she and her closest advisers could verify that.

In addition, the Republican National Committee called on the State Department's inspector general to investigate Clinton's email use.

"The American public deserves to know whether one of its top-ranking public official’s actions violated federal law," said RNC Chief Counsel John Phillippe in a letter urging the probe.

And Larry Klayman, founder of the government oversight group Freedom Watch, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that Clinton should be held in criminal contempt over the emails.

"We're not trying to influence an election," said Klayman, a former federal prosecutor. "I'm trying to bring out justice here."

Clinton's Twitter message was praised by Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House select committee that's investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks.

"As far as I am aware, no other Cabinet secretary in history has ever called for the release of his or her emails — in their entirety and throughout his or her tenure," Cummings told The Hill in a statement. "I commend Secretary Clinton's decision."

The Benghazi committee, which is headed by South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, discovered the private email account in the emails it subpoenaed last year in its investigation of the assaults that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, including two former Navy SEALs.

But other Democrats said that Clinton's delayed response to the reports only fueled concerns that the former first lady has long refused to answer questions about her business dealings.

"This problem is being exacerbated by the lack of answers from the Clinton campaign, or the nascent campaign, and it would be good to get out there and answer these questions," David Axelrod, President Barack Obama's former chief strategist, said on "The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell" on MSNBC.

Blakeman noted to Newsmax that neither President Barack Obama nor Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz have yet to speak on Clinton's behalf.

"I would think that they would all be lining up to defend her," he said. "There is nothing about that. Why? Because this is real."

Haynes said that the response proved that any team working on Clinton's likely White House candidacy is "not ready for prime time."

"It also violates the first rule of crisis management. In a crisis, silence is hiding — and hiding is guilt."

The statement "essentially explains nothing about what her motive was," Haynes added. "That is the key to the matter.

"It's not 'Sure, I'll let you see the emails,' it's what did you think you were going to be doing that motivated you to want to hide them all and then consider releasing what you wanted to release later?

"It's the big, fat 'why' that hasn't been addressed," Haynes added.

Blakeman put no faith in the State Department's ability to release the emails expeditiously.

"They're going to play dumb, and they're trying to wait the clock," he told Newsmax. "It's not going to work, because if she's going to run for president, she's going to be hounded by this every day from now until she either gets in or out of the race."

He also doesn't buy the Obama administration's explanation that they did not know about Clinton's actions.

"I find that very hard to believe, because she certainly was in contact with people at the White House during her tenure. I don't believe that at all — and the emails will bear that out."

More broadly, both Haynes and Blakeman pointed to the scandal and another example of how both Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton have sought to skirt the law over the years.

"It's another page in a long-running narrative with the Clinton family, where they obfuscate and hide things that give people great concern about the way they carry out their business," Haynes said.

He referenced such Clinton scandals as "Travelgate," during the president's administration, which involved financial improprieties at the White House Travel Office, and the Whitewater controversy in Arkansas that involved the Rose Law Firm, whose partners once included Hillary Clinton, Webster Hubbell and Vince Foster.

"It reminds voters of all the things they've ever heard before — and all the issues come immediately bubbling back to the forefront," Haynes said.

"The Clintons are above the law," Blakeman said. "Their modus operandi is to try to thwart any and all attempts to follow the rules. The rules are always for somebody else.

"They feel like they're victims, yet their public service is one of choice," he added. "They make a choice and they have to follow the rules.

"If the rules don't suit them, they thwart the rules."

The Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report.

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Democrats worked vigorously Thursday to contain the exploding controversy over Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account while she was secretary of state, but "they can't argue that this is some right-wing conspiracy and that the Republicans are trying to shoot her...
republican, reaction, hillary clinton, private, email, scandal, state, department
Thursday, 05 March 2015 10:20 PM
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