The latest release of Hillary Clinton emails is quite a nothingburger -- pages upon pages full of lots of mundane details but no incriminating evidence of a coverup in Benghazi or overarching narrative of Clinton's time as secretary of state.
The 3,000 pages of emails released late last night by the State Department show that Clinton maintained closer correspondence with longtime friend Sidney Blumenthal than had previously been disclosed but not much else regarding the 2012 terror attack on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, ostensibly the focus of this fact-finding mission.
“Are you still awake?” Clinton emailed Blumenthal at 10:35pm back in October of 2009. “I will call if you are,” she wrote. Clinton often passed around Blumenthal's memos to senior diplomats while she was at the State Department (Blumenthal recently sat for an hours long grilling in front of the congressional committee still investigating Benghazi.)
Clinton turned over to the State Department about 55,000 pages of emails from her time as Secretary of State earlier this year, emails that came from a personal server run out of her own home. After the State Department proposed a one-time dump of all 55,000 emails before January 2016, a federal judge ordered their release o a rolling basis. The State department previously released about 300 of those emails, with more than 800 pages related specifically to the 2012 Benghazi attack right before the Memorial Day holiday.
This latest release offers little new information on Benghazi but we learn plenty of not so interesting details about Clinton's time in office like just how often she planned dinners with various political leaders and elected officials. We learn that for some inexplicable reason Clinton continued to take advice from her 2008 pollster Mark Penn and that she had difficulties using a fax machine. Big news there.
We learn that top Obama aides, including David Axelrod, who previously claimed he was unaware Clinton operated a private server, and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel communicated with Clinton at her private email address.
There is an email from Clinton reaching out for help on behalf of a young Yemeni girl married off and divorced by the age of 10, "could we get her to the US for counseling and education," Clinton asks a State department official. And an email inquiring about a rug she saw during a 2009 trip to China, "I loved their designs and the way they appeared carved. Any chance we can get this?"
In one email, Clinton quips that Fox News needs “at least one sane realistic voice.”
While some Republicans like Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, may be disappointed by the what promised to be a treasure trove dump, there is still plenty of information revealed from these emails that Clinton's opponents can use going into 2016 -- namely her seemingly insatiable appetite for positive press coverage.
There are endless correspondences between Clinton and her aides negotiating the details of interviews and profiles and Clinton often shared or received glowing reviews with others on her staff. When Clinton was displeased by media coverage, emails reveal that she was unafraid to call for a correction. In a November 2009 email, Clinton asked aides to request a correction from the Washington Post regarding a story about her campaign spending during her run for Senate. She claimed that the story was “misleading,” asking an aide, “Can you get correction somewhere?”