CNN Panel: 'Nothing' In Hillary's E-Mails 'Reeks of Illegality'

Tuesday's New Day on CNN completely glossed over the fact that 150 out of 7,000 pages from the latest release of Hillary Clinton's e-mail from her tenure as secretary of state contained classified information. Instead, John Berman wildly claimed that "as far as I can tell, nothing in here that reeks of illegality in what we're seeing here." Alisyn Camerota wondered, "If there's no smoking gun, when does the e-mail issue go away?" Nia-Malika Henderson even asserted that "in some ways, these e-mails, kind of, help, because there's no 'there' there." [video below]

Berman brought up the latest e-mail release during a panel discussion segment with Henderson and The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza. The fill-in anchor noted that in " these e-mails – these 7,000 pages that came out overnight – there's the gefilte fish; there's a lot of mundane discussion in here." He turned to Henderson and asked, "Nia, it seems at a certain point – because there is, as far as I can tell, nothing in here that reeks of illegality in what we're seeing here. But does that even matter now – because you have these releases – and we will have more – and the stench is out there?"

The CNN correspondent seconded Berman's take – that "we...haven't found anything so far" in any of Mrs. Clinton's e-mail releases – and underlined that "in these polls that are out from Iowa, Democratic caucus voters saying – 61 percent saying they don't think this matters." She dropped her "there's no 'there' there" line later in her reply.

Camerota then turned to Lizza and asked her "when does the e-mail issue go away" question. The New Yorker journalist replied, in part, that "it goes away when the Justice Department says – you know, 'We looked into this, and we're not going to take any further action' – if that's what they say." He also pointed out that "there's a lot of politics in this e-mail. She has a lot of outside political advisers sending her advice – both on official State Department business, and in broader politics going on in the world."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Henderson/Lizza segment from Tuesday's New Day on CNN:

JOHN BERMAN: If I could shift to Hillary Clinton just for one moment, because these e-mails – these 7,000 pages that came out overnight – there's the gefilte fish; there's a lot of mundane discussion in here. (Lizza and Henderson laugh) But Nia, it seems at a certain point – because there is, as far as I can tell, nothing in here that reeks of illegality in what we're seeing here. But does that even matter now – because you have these releases – and we will have more – and the stench is out there?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: The stench is out there. And like you said, this has happened a couple of times so far; and we, sort of, root through them all, and haven't found anything so far.

If you look at some of those numbers in these polls that are out from Iowa, Democratic caucus voters saying – 61 percent saying they don't think this matters – this e-mail conversation – the fact that she had her personal e-mail and a personal server, rather than that government e-mail. And Hillary Clinton, obviously, is, sort of, changing her approach to this. She was, sort of, complaining about this before – saying that she felt like it was an attack – a political attack. Now, she's more, like, explaining it, and saying that people have a right to ask questions about this.

But I think, in some ways, these e-mails, kind of, help, because there is – there's no 'there' there. I mean, she's talking about gefilte fish. On one, she was, sort of complaining about the fax machine – not knowing how to use that ; the iPad. So, in some ways, it's this window – almost like a 'Veep'-like window into her – the, kind of, mundane machinations of working at the State Department.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: So Ryan-

RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORKER: Yeah-

CAMEROTA: If there's no smoking gun, when does the e-mail issue go away – and voters don't seem to care about it, according to polls – when does the e-mail issue go away for Hillary?

LIZZA: I think it goes away when the Justice Department says – you know, 'We looked into this, and we're not going to take any further action' – if that's what they say.

I – you know, I spent a lot of time last night going through them, too. I would say one thing I think you can – one takeaway from the e-mails – is if you want to know what Hillary Clinton did as secretary of state – and that's going to be a very important issue in the primaries, and if she wins in the general election – I think there's a lot of politics in this e-mail. She has a lot of outside political advisers sending her advice – both on official State Department business, and in – in broader politics going on in the world – and it's a little bit of sense of – a few of the e-mails saying, 'Be careful about how you engage in certain issues, because it could damage you long-term.' If you read between the lines, that's what some of the advice is.

And if you look at Hillary Clinton versus John Kerry – John Kerry has been a much more active secretary of state than Hillary Clinton. And frankly, I think the reason for that is because he's not worrying about running for president one day. He's – he's finished with politics. So I think that's one thing I took away from the e-mails, is a sense of caution in Hillary Clinton engaging in some of the diplomacy that the secretary of state is – often does.

CAMEROTA: That's interesting. That's an interesting analysis. Ryan, Nia, thanks so much.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Bias by Omission Labeling Polling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN New Day Video Ryan Lizza Nia-Malika Henderson Alisyn Camerota John Berman Hillary Clinton
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