John Podesta, top adviser to Hillary Clinton, is being dragged into Clinton's personal email scandal with revelations that he criticized the George W. Bush administration for the same practice in 2007.
When the Bush administration came under fire for using personal email accounts during an investigation into whether they had fired federal prosecutors for political purposes, Podesta, who served in the Bill Clinton White House as chief of staff, told The Wall Street Journal,
"At the end of the day, it looks like they were trying to avoid the records act ... by operating official business off the official systems."
Now, after The New York Times revealed that Hillary Clinton exclusively used a personal email account during her 2009-2013 tenure as secretary of state, in apparent violation of federal regulations, Podesta's words are coming back to haunt him.
Concerns about Clinton's use of a private email account to handle government business first emerged during investigations into the 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Since then, Clinton aides have provided 300 emails to investigators and recently gave 55,000 Clinton emails to the State Department, but not before they had been sifted through by her staff, the Times noted
Further, the Times said that Clinton aides "took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act."
Michael Short, spokesman for the Republican National Committee, told The Hill
, "Voters should be extremely concerned Hillary Clinton kept all of her official email correspondence off the books at the same time corporations and foreign governments that donated to her foundation were lobbying her State Department.
"Whether it’s these new developments or the decades of secrecy surrounding the Clintons, Hillary comes across as someone that’s got something to hide."
Vox noted that when Clinton
took office, "There is simply no way that, when Clinton decided to use her personal email address as secretary of state, she was unaware of the national scandal that [George W.] Bush officials had created by doing the same."
The National Journal said
, "Clinton and her aides, who almost certainly knew full well the political implications of conducting official business over a personal address because of a Bush administration scandal just before she was sworn in, decided to de-emphasize transparency.
"That alone is going to be catnip for her political opponents as she gears up for a White House run."
noting Clinton's virtually unchallenged intention to run for the Democratic nomination, commented, "Democrats soon may realize a nomination race that is, in effect, a coronation, is a risky endeavor.
"At this moment there are no realistic alternatives. If Mrs. Clinton's electoral prospects sink, her party goes down with her."
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