Ron Fournier of the National Journal doesn't seem particularly impressed by Hillary Clinton's transparency tour in a desperate bid for authenticity in the wake of her email scandal. In fact, he has 19 questions for Hillary. Mark them down, journalists. Let them serve as your master checklist when questioning her about the email scandal. Hopefully all the questions will be asked by the time Hillary appears before Congress in October and if any of the 19 questions are still unasked, perhaps one or more congressman can ask them.
So take it away, Ron!
By any objective measure, the Democratic presidential front-runner has responded to her email scandal with deflection and deception, shredding her credibility while giving a skeptical public another reason not to trust the institutions of politics and government.
An apology doesn’t fix that. An apology also doesn’t answer the scandal’s most important questions.
And here are Fournier's 19 questions for Hillary:
1. While apologizing in an ABC interview on Tuesday, you said, “What I had done was allowed; it was aboveboard.” You must know by now that while the State Department allowed the use of home computers in 2009, agency rules required that email be secured. Yours was not. Just nine months into your term, new regulations required that your emails be captured on department servers. You stashed yours on a home-brewed system until Congress found out. Why not admit you violated policy? Why do you keep misleading people?
Force of habit?
2. If what you did was “aboveboard,” then you wouldn’t object to all executive-branch officials at every level of government and from both parties storing their email on private servers—out of the public’s reach. Tell me how that wouldn’t subvert the federal Freedom of Information Act and “sunshine laws” in every state?
Did Clemenza tape the gun for Michael Corleone behind Hillary's server when it was located in a bathroom?
3. If what you did was “allowed,” then you wouldn’t object to all executive-branch officials at every level of government and from both parties using secret servers to shield themselves from legislative oversight. Wouldn’t that undermine the legislative branch’s constitutional authority? Wouldn’t it lead to more political corruption?
I am comforted by the fact that the State Department just appointed a "transparency czar."
4. If what you did became a nationwide precedent, historians would be left with exponentially less archival material to explain the actions of political leaders. You would have helped to erase the public memory. OK with that?
Sure. She's fine with the memory hole. No problem.
5. Who authorized the deletion of 31,000 emails from your server? Who carried it out? Were they approved to review and secure classified documents?
Tooth fairy? If he leaves a nickle for every missing email, that's a nice wad of cash.
6. The public and Congress has no right to see your truly personal email. Do you consider email about your family’s foundation to be personal? Can you guarantee that none of the deleted email involved the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation or its donors?
She can guarantee that none of the deleted emails involve gefilte fish.
7. You said you didn’t have time to think about your email system when you started at State, but it appears you put a lot of thought into it. You said you did it for the convenience of having one device, but we found out later you carried at least two. You also said it was for you and President Clinton to email each other, but we now know he has only emailed once in his life. Why can’t we get a straight answer about why you created an unauthorized, unprecedented email infrastructure?
$5000 was paid to set up a private email server just in case Bill Clinton decided to send an email for the second time in his life.
8. You’ve given the average voter the right—and reporters the responsibility—to ask an ugly question: What were you hiding?
A recipe for gefilte fish pie.
9. Ever hear of Thomas Drake? He’s the former senior National Security Agency official indicted under the Espionage Act for keeping an agency email printout at his home that was not marked as classified. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Why do you and your aides keep suggesting that it matters whether or not your emails were marked classified?
That question will be answered as soon as her Authenticity Czar is appointed.
10. You emailed your Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, soliciting a “reply” to your “personal email.” He responded with what is a now classified summary of his discussion with Italy’s foreign minister. Did you not know that type of head-of-state communication is instantly classified? What were you expecting to hear from Mr. Mitchell?
She was expecting to hear if he had a recipe for gefilte fish hors d'oeuvres.
11. Remember getting an email about the mapping of North Korea’s nuclear program, which has since been marked classified? Why didn’t you raise any red flags internally, or do you think this type of information should be legitimately unclassified?
Eh! The North Korean nuclear program couldn't be any more abhorrent for civilization than the recipe for gefilte fish pie.
12. You paid a State Department technology official privately to maintain your private system. Huma Abedin was paid by the State Department, your foundation, and a consulting firm. Aren’t these conflicts of interest? Is double-dipping appropriate for all federal workers or just your closest aides?
At least she didn't pay Anthony Weiner to run her twitter account.
13. When the White House wouldn’t let you hire Sidney Blumenthal, you put him on the foundation payroll and solicited his advice. Didn’t that violate the spirit of the White House veto? Why did you claim publicly that his advice was unsolicited?
Sid Vicious is such a kind soul...at least compared to his son, Max.
14. Several of Blumenthal’s emails were deleted from your server and recovered later through other sources. Why shouldn’t we assume other work-related emails were deleted?
Don't worry. You can get all of Sid's emails from the Romanian hacker Guccifer. For all her other emails, perhaps Kremlin Vlad, the Chinese, or the Iranian mad mullahs can fill in the gaps of her easily hacked emails.
15. How many servers were there? Is there deleted data on any other devices?
No more than one server per bathroom.
16. Did you take any training as first lady, senator, or secretary of State on what is deemed classified and how to handle and store classified material? When was the last time?
She never received any training past the concept of "wiped."
17. You’re not the target of an FBI investigation at this time. Is it fair to say the FBI would not be investigating the insecurity of classified information absent the actions you took? If not, please explain.
Her Transparency Czar will explain if you can get an appointment with her from the Authenticity Czar.
18. If the FBI finds you improperly handled classified information but does not charge you with a crime, will you maintain that you did nothing wrong? (Yes, ma’am, that is a hypothetical, but so is a presidential candidacy. Please answer.)
This is a question for which Ron should already know the answer.
19. Is U.S. national security more or less secure as a result of your server’s existence?
A Security Czar will get back to you on this.
So did Ron Fournier miss any questions? Well, he invites you to provide them to him:
What did I miss? Tweet #AskHillary @Ron_Fournier