Private E-mail and Public Officials

Private E-mail and Public OfficialsThe 2015 to-do about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s multiple e-mail accounts while serving the public has spread to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s multiple e-mail accounts while serving the public. One is a Democrat, the other a Republican, and both are likely candidates for the Presidency in 2016. What a coincidence, huh?!

At first blush, so what if they had multiple e-mail accounts? Even I have multiple e-mail accounts. Internet users tend to pick up multiple e-mail accounts in their online travels.

At second blush (if there is such a thing), it could be a serious matter. If a Secretary of State or a Governor used private e-mail to bypass required scrutiny, it could be downright dastardly. Even if they just confused their private and public e-mail accounts and unwittingly leaked confidential information while ordering a new patio set, it’s disturbing.

A good deal of the pushback against people investigating the situation focuses on the investigators’ motives. Clinton’s e-mail critics are chiefly Republicans, the most vocal being Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who calls Clinton’s deletion of supposedly private e-mails “criminal in nature.” Priebus’ statements have drawn criticism from members of his own Party, as Clinton’s anticipated run for the Presidency on the Democratic Ticket makes her his obvious target and his hyperbole makes their investigation less credible.

Second-runner-up is Representative Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the House’s Benghazi Select Committee, who is requesting Clinton’s closed-door interview with the Committee. Gowdy is criticized on 2 counts. First, his committee is the 5th to investigate Benghazi, after the House Intelligence Committee, The Senate Armed Services Committee, the House Armed Services Committee and The State Department’s independent review board. All those investigative bodies essentially found no wrongdoing by the State Department, so what’s the point of a 5th Republican-led investigative committee, except to fan anti-Clinton embers? Secondly, he is requesting a closed-door interview of Clinton before the committee, though Clinton wants a public hearing. According to a written statement issued by Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill, Clinton told the committee months ago that she was prepared to testify at a public hearing. Merrill stated, “It is by their choice that hasn’t happened. To be clear, she remains ready to appear at a hearing open to the American public.” Clinton obviously won’t allow the committee a private interview from which they may selectively leak portions for political purposes.

Investigations into Jeb Bush’s public/private e-mails while Florida’s Governor seems purely political, as well. It’s hitting national prominence in response to the Clinton brouhaha and Bush, a likely Republican candidate for the Presidency, is fair game. Bush claims to have not even known about the private e-mail account from which he received hundreds of communications, some from political donors trying to sway him in appointing this or that individual. However, the e-mails were answered, albeit via another of Bush’s e-mail accounts, showing that somebody in the Governor’s office knew about the account and read the e-mails.

One has to wonder whether other government officials such as Senators, Representatives and the like, have and may improperly use e-mail accounts. With the 2016 elections in view, this political ping-pong could start a new national craze of finger pointing and e-mail examination!

By Kathy Catanzarite


Source: Kathy Catanzarite – Handelonthelaw.com Staff Writer

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