Last week we noted Trey Gowdy's interview on Fox News where he divulged that Clinton had used a software called "BleachBit" to permanently delete emails in a way to "prevent their recovery" and "hide traces" of their deletion (see "FBI Admits Clinton Used Software Designed To "Prevent Recovery" And "Hide Traces Of" Deleted Emails"). What got less attention in that post, however, was Gowdy's question of whether Clinton considered email correspondence with the Clinton Foundation and its donors to be "work related" or "personal".
There is increasing evidence that Clinton Foundation related email traffic was specifically omitted from disclosures to the FBI. Recent emails received under various FOIA requests have uncovered numerous Clinton emails, related to the Clinton Foundation, that were "mysteriously" absent from the "30,000 work-related emails" that were previously turned over to the FBI. That omission obviously begs the question of how Hillary could possibly consider correspondence with the Clinton Foundation and/or its donors to be "personal". Certainly Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, thinks “It would be a difficult argument” for Clinton to suggest that Clinton Foundation emails were "personal."
The latest example comes from McClatchy DC and involves another email exchange between then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and a large Clinton Foundation donor, Abigail Disney, who was looking for a favor. The email exchange in question was revealed by Citizens United and was among the emails received after winning a lawsuit related to their previously unanswered FOIA request. Oddly enough, this email exchange, and many others like it, were excluded from the "30,000 work-related emails" that Clinton originally disclosed to the FBI.
Turns out Disney, a Clinton Foundation donor to the tune of $100,000 - $250,000, wanted Hillary to focus more on women's issues at the next meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. But Disney didn't go to the Clinton Foundation for help with her request she went straight to the Secretary of State. Per McClatchy DC, Disney's July 2012 email to Hillary included the following:
“We have attended the Clinton Global Initiative now for a few years and feel it is an important gathering of some of the finest and most important thinking about International Aid. We do, however, feel that woman’s issues have not gotten the attention or the placement they deserve. We are hoping you might consider helping us ‘rock the boat’ a little bit this year.”
Huma Abedin, for one, was apparently not pleased with Disney's persistence and/or her direct communications with Hillary. Explain to us again why would direct communications with Hillary be a problem? Per an email from Abedin to officials at the Clinton Global Initiative on July 23, 2012:
“The problem is she keeps emailing hrc directly and is quite anxious to talk.”
After a subsequent conversation with Disney, Huma provided the following update to the Clinton Global Initiative Deputy Director, Ed Hughes:
“They [Abigail Disney] are going to come back with a clearer proposal for what they want and I told them hrc role at cgi hadn’t even been discussed yet which happens to be true."
Now we're not legal experts by any stretch but that seems an awful lot like Huma is suggesting that a Clinton Foundation donor is going to put together a very specific request for a favor from the Secretary of State. We'll let you be the judge.