Today's long awaited blockbuster report released by the State Department Inspector General, which found that Hillary Clinton broke government rules by using a private email server without approval, and that among many other things Clinton would not have been allowed to use the server in her home had she asked the department officials in charge of information security, made the day of all of Hillary's critics as it confirmed most of their accusations, while at the same time justified Hillary's worst fears: apparently epic sloppiness "did make a difference after all" especially since it confirmed she had lied, again.
The report explicitly contradicted Clinton's repeated assertion that her server was allowed and that no permission was needed.
"OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server," the report said, adding that Clinton should have discussed the arrangement with the department's security and technology officials. Officials told investigators that they "did not - and would not - approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business." The reason, those officials said, is because it breached department rules and presented "security risks."
The palpable lack of coherent response to this sudden revelation confirmed just how jarred by today's events the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate was.
As we first reported earlier today, the Clinton camp's initial reaction was to use a kindergarten excuse: former secretaries of state were also doing it, or in the words of Hillary's press secretary Brian Fallon, "the Inspector General documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other Secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email."
In other words, Hillary was abusing Federal regulations and failed to maintain proper record-keeping practices, but others were doing it, so please look the other say. Which incidentally, was also a lie: Fallon did not address the report's criticism of Clinton's use of a private server, something no other secretary of state has done.
This "explanation" only made the hole Hillary now finds herself in even deeper.
So what did Hillary do next?
Just a few hours later, Brian Fallon appeared on CNN's "The Situation Room" and called into question the timing of the State Department investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server. Fallon referred to the "appropriateness" of the investigation, parallel to the Justice Department's investigation into the same issue, as "an open question" even if both Fallon and Hillary were aware of the two investigations for over a year.
In other words, another conspiracy theory... the same kind of conspiracy theory that CNN want postal on Donald Trump for just 24 hours earlier when he dared to hint that something was "fishy" about the Vince Foster death. Oddly, there were no comparable accusations this time.
Where thing got really unhinged, however, is when Fallon tried to defend Clinton's decision not to meet with the inspector general for the investigation by arguing that Clinton and her staff decided to "prioritize the Justice Department review."
When repeatedly asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer why Clinton didn't have time to do both, Fallon noted both the handful of inquiries Clinton has responded to. But the punchline was that this too was another vast conspiracy - he stated "reports" from inside the office claiming that the investigation had an "anti-Clinton bias."
All Bush's fault?
Blitzer responded by asking Fallon, a former Justice Department spokesman, if he was leveling those accusations at State, but he said that he was not... even though quite clearly he did, in effect redoing what Trump did yesterday by mentioning the "Vince Foster story" and saying he would not talk about, when he too clearly did. This too was something that CNN's Jonathan Tapper took umbrage with just 24 hours earlier.
None such treatment for Mr. Fallon or Ms. Clinton.
But what would lend at least some credibility to Hillary's own de novo conspiracy theory is if the Inspector General was some hardened republican clearly out to get here. Here's the problem: current Secretary of State Kerry asked Steve Linick, the State Department inspector general, to investigate after Clinton's email arrangement came to light last year. President Barack Obama appointed Linick to the role in 2013.
In other words, it was all... Obama's fault.
Then again maybe Hillary is right, and it is yet another vast conspiracy, a vast left-wing conspiracy that is. Because if Hillary is indeed right, that would mean that none other than... Obama wants to take her down?