A Washington Post editorial
Monday asserted that the email controversy surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a test that could illuminate how she would deal with difficult questions were she president.
A week into the affair, Clinton has responded to "legitimate questions about her judgment and her record" by "dispatching friendly politicians and former aides to television news shows to dismiss the issue as just politics" and by tweeting a terse, perfunctory and unhelpful statement, the Post said in its editorial.
Clinton finds herself in a "revelatory" moment. The Post called on her to use it to explain:
"Why did she use a private account? What discussions did she have with advisers and other State Department or White House officials about it? How many messages, if any, have been omitted from those turned over to the department? Will she permit a neutral arbiter — say, from the National Archives — to examine any withheld messages?"
Clinton's cavalier response to "the public's legitimate claim on government records" was to tweet: "I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible."
She well knows, the Post said, that the State Department, adhering to Freedom of Information Act procedures, will have to pore over the 55,000 pages of messages — which she handed over in response to the department's request — to screen for confidential information. This process will take a long time.
"If she wants to demonstrate the strength of character and judgment required to be president, Ms. Clinton should hold a news conference and answer all the unanswered questions about her e-mails," the Post concluded.
The Post's editorial board
includes: editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl, and reporters Jo-Ann Armao, Jonathan Capehart, Lee Hockstader, Charles Lane, Stephen Stromberg, along with editorial cartoonist Tom Toles. Michael Larabee, the op-ed editor, also takes part in editorial deliberations.
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