DiGenova on Hillary's Emails: 'If There Isn’t a Department of Justice Preliminary Inquiry, It’s a Disgrace'

By Ali Meyer | March 31, 2015 | 9:52pm EDT

 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a university conference sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative at the University of Miami, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas)

(CNSNews.com) - Former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova said Tuesday that if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “permanently deleted” emails, “she committed a crime.”

“The evidence on the record at this point makes it very clear that impending proceedings she took it upon herself, used her staff, and apparently with the advice of counsel Cheryl Mills, destroyed evidence,” said diGenova at Judicial Watch’s discussion on Clinton's email practices in Washington, D.C.

“Nobody knows whether what she had was evidence until somebody looks at it. If she’s right and everything that she had that’s personal--and I’ll bet you the Clinton Foundation is considered personal--has been permanently deleted, she committed a crime--absolutely unequivocally committed a crime, and if there isn’t a Department of Justice preliminary inquiry, it’s a disgrace,” he said.

“The bottom line is simple,” said diGenova. “She destroyed history. She destroyed history with no supervision, with no accountability, with no transparency. She had no right to do that, and there should be a federal criminal investigation going on right now at the Department of Justice.”

DiGenova also suspects that the scandal was a design of the State Department at the beginning of Clinton’s tenure as secretary.

“It was a deliberate plan, legal strategy from the beginning of her tenure as Secretary of State,” said diGenova. “What if in fact the Department of State from day one was the one that put the server in Chappaqua? And I think they did, that they had known about this before they had ever told anybody about it. I believe that, and I believe that to be the case, but I don’t know it yet.

“Mrs. Clinton started her removal of documents at the inception of her secretariat. She began with a purposeful action to conceal and eventually - according to her and her lawyer - delete information which is presumptively public record,” diGenova stated.

“She admits she destroyed more than 50 percent of everything that was on that server, and if anybody thinks that everything that’s official has been turned over, you’re living in a dream world,” he said.

“At a certain point, the information management people at the department know that she’s not using an official email account. They know that for a fact, because she doesn't have one,” said diGenova. “It doesn't take a lot for somebody to start asking questions, like ‘excuse me Madam Secretary, but just how are you communicating with people in the department, and where are those records?’ This is so staggering in the brazenness of evasion of legal duty by everybody at the State Department and especially the secretary. That it is simply staggering.

“It’s unbelievable, and with a straight face, she stands up at the UN and talks about yoga lessons and laughs about it before a media group recently and makes a joke about her emails and of course the media in the audience laughs uproariously at this wonderful event,” diGenova added.

“What she has done has undermined people’s confidence in the ability to get valuable public records. Her records were valuable, whatever you may think of her, she was the Secretary of State. That’s a pretty big job, and she took it upon herself to change history. She does not have the right or the authority to change history, and she did.”

Daniel Metcalfe, a registered Democrat and an adjunct professor of law at American University and founding director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy, gave a background on the Federal Records Act and called Hillary’s email handling “atypical, to put it mildly.”

“It developed that she began to use a personal email account exclusively for all of her official business and that’s something I’ll say right there is atypical to put it mildly, because the rule in the Federal Records Act and the longstanding practice on the statute in the National Archives Records Administration implemented policies and practices is that it is not absolutely prohibited to ever use a personal email account,” said Metcalfe.

“Yes, if you’re a busy secretary of State, and you’re responding to crises around the world in the middle of night, and you reach for your device or a device, and it’s a personal email account or part of that device, no one’s going to come and tell you, ‘Stop, you can’t address the problems of the world and represent the United States, because you’re holding the wrong piece of equipment in your hand,’” he said.

“The Federal Records Act as a practical matter allows for occasional use of a personal email account under exceptional circumstances,” Metcalfe added. “And it does say beyond that though, when that is done on an exceptional basis then the official or a staff assistant, like would be the case here, has the responsibility to take that communication and transmit it basically forward it I think into the State Department record keeping system where it wouldn’t have been located otherwise.”

“However, Secretary Clinton says quite clearly that she did not begin to use or ever use an official email account, an official State Department account. She used only a personal email account, and moreover, she never during her tenure took that additional step in any instance with respect to any of her communications,” said Metcalfe.

“Then the next aspect of it distinctly related is that rather than have her personal email account be handled for lack of a better word by Google or Yahoo, she instead made use of a private server at her home,” said Metcalfe. “So that meant during the four years of her tenure all of her official communications were outside of the official channels of the State Department at least at her end as the sender or the sendee and recipient, and resided purely within her personal control or property or ownership.

“There’s no doubt in my mind at least, based upon my firsthand experience that she knows full well, knew full well, exactly how it all worked and what she was doing,” Metcalfe added.

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