The Washington Post criticized Hillary Clinton on Thursday for her “poor judgment” in opting to use a private email account and server during her tenure as Secretary of State, rather than using a government account as she should have done:
Hillary Rodham Clinton has served as first lady, a senator from New York and secretary of state. She is no newcomer to the corridors of power. Her decision to exclusively use a private e-mail account while secretary suggests she made a deliberate decision to shield her messages from scrutiny. It was a mistake that reflects poor judgment about a public trust.
Poor judgment? That’s an understatement for someone whose actions, as the Post suggested, were deliberately intended to shield her emails from public scrutiny.
Not only did Clinton fail to use a government account, but she bypassed large, well known services such as Gmail and Yahoo for her own Clinton.com account that was reportedly hosted on a server in her home in New York.
The Post noted that while Clinton isn’t the first high-ranking government official to use a private email account, her use of it exclusively raises a host of questions. Even if she took this action because she was concerned about how Republicans would scrutinize her emails, that is still no excuse for “a penchant for control and secrecy” that the Post said she has exhibited before, and which remains a worrisome attribute as she gears up to run for president.
Ms. Clinton is not the first high-ranking government official to write private e-mails about public business. But a host of questions arise from her decision to use private e-mail exclusively while serving as secretary. How secure was the private e-mail? What was her motive? Did anyone ask why the secretary of state was breaking with an announced administration policy? Why did she not turn over the e-mails promptly upon leaving office? Has she withheld anything?
It may be that Ms. Clinton used private e-mail because she anticipated Republicans would be on the prowl for scandal and she wanted to control what part of her record might be scrutinized. Such fears would have had ample basis, but they do not excuse a penchant for control and secrecy that she has exhibited before — and that remains a worrying attribute as Ms. Clinton possibly enters a presidential campaign. Nor is fear of partisan criticism an even remotely valid excuse for using a private channel for official business.
Clinton responded to the uproar by tweeting, “I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.” That is laughable since she was the one who had total control over the emails, and it isn’t yet known if the 55,000 pages of emails that her staff has sent the State Department comprise the entirety of her government related emails while she was Secretary of State.
Hillary was supposed to be the slam dunk presidential candidate for the Democrats in 2016, but this latest scandal coupled with the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign government money, are going to be major impediments for a campaign that hasn’t even officially been announced yet.
CommentsComments are turned off for this article.