The Clinton Email Mess

The Hillary Clinton email saga fascinates me.  And they wonder why people do not trust politicians.  You can get a sense of what might have happened by addressing the meaning of what is in the public record so far.

She was Secretary of State from 21 January 2009 until 1 February 2013 a total of 1,472 days.  In that period there are both personal and business emails on her personal email server.  According to recent information, 31,380 of them were personal. Perhaps “not business” would be a better description.  A little over 21 per day.  That does not seem unreasonable.  Depending on how many Facebook updates, LinkedIn connections and cat videos there may have been. If we can say anything, it is low.

She has supplied 55,000 pages of email correspondence to the State Department and that purports to be the extent of all her business email.  I doubt that one.  As Ricky would say, “You got some ‘splainin’ to do.”

I have no awareness of what state department emails look like, but if they are anything similar to mine, 55,000 pages would be less than 20,000 emails.  Why?  Because of attachments.  I expect that position papers, reports of all kinds and excerpts from newspapers and magazines made it to her.  Even quoted material from other emails would drive the average page count higher than 2 pages per email.  If we guess 20,000, and I think that is too many, there would be fewer than 14 per day.  Incoming and outgoing.  Call it 10 in and 4 out.  I am a skeptic.

Trust and respect accrue based on behaviour.  They are very difficult to acquire and very easy to lose.  I am afraid that Mrs. Clinton may have lost both and that troubles me because she is family.  A 9th great-grandfather on my mother’s side is a 10th great-grandfather of Mrs. Clinton.  I doubt that is close enough to get an invitation to the family barbeque, but family is family.

I suppose the State Department could have the NSA give them the full file and clear it all up.

Do you really think they could not?


Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.

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