The entirety of the Benghazi investigation has been nothing more than a Republican smear campaign. Multiple investigations by stakeholders have already cleared her of any wrongdoing, and yet the notion that Hillary is somehow responsible for or lied about Benghazi has entered Republican canon as an article of faith, independent of any actual evidence. The latest committee testimony session in particular was a total farce thanks to the idiotic and utterly misinformed questions the Republicans asked.
So far, I haven’t mentioned the email servers but its important nonetheless because this is the lens through which the Republicans view the emails.
There isn’t any law that says a public servant isn’t allowed to have a private server, but the Republicans were convinced that she was using it to somehow conceal her evil schemes from the rest of the government. There was a lot of confusing information going back and forth in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks (as any sane person might expect). The Republicans claim that the confusion was in fact a malicious conspiracy to deceive the American public, that Hillary and/or Obama deliberately allowed the ambassador to die, and that they wanted to blame the attacks on a hateful video rather than admit Islamic terrorists were active in Libya. None of this has been substantiated, but the course of the investigation required a detailed analysis of who said what and when, so it’s reasonable to assume that Hillary’s emails might have details pertinent to the investigation.
One of the big problems is that there is much confusion over whether Hillary deliberately deleted incriminating emails, or lied under oath about when or in what capacity she used the email server, etc. Another question is the extent to which she did or did not communicate with the Ambassadors… The Republicans claim that the lack of emails to the Ambassador indicates Hillary deliberately ignored the Libyan embassy, whereas anyone familiar with the State Department knows that their business is handled through diplomatic cables and therefore would not produce an email trail. Then the Republicans claimed that the presence of emails to personal friends and subject matter experts indicates… Something???
But the most recent chapter is debate over whether her emails contained classified information. This is a much trickier question than it appears. Unless a document is actually marked with a classification heading, it can be very difficult to identify whether or not the data is, in fact, classified. Questions that would have to be answered include: Was the information classified at the time the email was written? Did Hillary cite a source document that she knew was classified? Which parts of the data are her personal ideas and opinions, and which parts are from classified intelligence estimates? Without knowing these details, it’s impossible to guess whether there was actual misconduct.
(And even if there was misconduct, is it really such a great idea for the pot to call the kettle black?)