I don’t believe Hillary Rodham Clinton when she says—as she did at a brief news conference on Tuesday—that she has no control over the release of her State Department email. “They’re not mine. They belong to the State Department.”
I don’t believe her because a person’s actions are more revealing than words: She kept her government email on a secret server and, only under pressure from Congress, returned less than half of them to the State Department. She deleted the rest. She considered them hers.
I don’t believe her when she says, “I want those emails out. Nobody has a bigger interest in those being released than I do.”
I don’t believe her because I’ve covered the Clintons since the 1980s and know how dedicated they are to what former Clinton spokesman Mike McCurry called “telling the truth slowly.” The fact is that she would rather delay the document dump until early 2016—and then have the email released on a single day to overwhelm the media and allow her to declare herself exonerated. That was her strategic choice, Clinton advisers confirmed for me, until a federal judge ordered the State Department on Tuesday to release the email in stages.
I don’t believe her answer to this question: Is there a conflict of interest in accepting huge speaking fees from special interests seeking government action? “No,” she replied.
I don’t believe her because I saw how hard Clinton and her husband, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, worked to pass the state’s first sweeping ethics initiative. I don’t believe her because I’ve heard Clinton and her husband rail against GOP politicians who were guilty of less-obvious conflicts of interest. I don’t believe her because there have been far too many credible news reports about the blurring of lines between family finances, the family foundation, and her political and government interests.
It is not unusual in courts of law to see “he said, she said” cases where the outcome hinges on which side is more credible. Obviously somebody isn’t telling the truth, but which one?
Attacking the credibility of a witness is called impeachment. There is a jury instruction that says if a witness lied in part of their testimony that the jury can disregard everything they said. There is also an exception to the Hearsay Rule regarding false or misleading statements made out of court.
Last but not least there are rules of evidence that say that if a party hides, conceals and/or destroys evidence it creates a presumption that the evidence was incriminating against that party and that lying, concealing or destroying evidence can be used to establish “consciousness of guilt.”
Hillary Clinton has done each and every one of those things. So why should we believe a single word that comes out of her mouth now?