Former Sec. of State Colin Powell is standing with Hillary Clinton after the State Department retroactively classified some of his emails and is refusing to release them to the public.
Powell reacted to an NBC News report that the State Department is retroactively classifying his emails by calling for all of his emails to be released.
Powell said, “I wish they would release them, so that a normal, air-breathing mammal would look at them and say, ‘What’s the issue?’ They were unclassified at the time, and they are, in my judgment, still unclassified.”
Clinton campaign manager John Podesta said in a statement, “This announcement about Secretary Powell’s emails shows just how routine it is for government bureaucrats to go overboard when it comes to judging whether information is too sensitive for the public to see. Hillary Clinton agrees with her predecessor that his emails, like hers, are being inappropriately subjected to over-classification. She joins his call for these emails to be released so that the public can view the contents for itself.”
The State Department’s bureaucratic retroactive classification of emails has gone beyond the bounds of common sense. Republicans love to use the reclassification of the emails as circumstantial proof that Clinton must have done something wrong.
Now that the State Department is classifying emails from the Bush administration, Republicans are in a bind. The idea that Clinton did something wrong has been dealt a death blow. Republicans will use their favorite tactic of ignoring the Powell and Rice emails while talking about Clinton, but the idea that Hillary Clinton was illegally leaking classified information has been wounded now that the former Republican administration is also under scrutiny.
The Republican presidential candidates have been using the idea of Hillary Clinton ending up in jail as an applause line, but if Clinton should go to jail for her emails, Colin Powell and Condi Rice should be sharing a cell with her.
Republicans believe that the emails are their best chance of beating Clinton, but the scandal that they are hanging their hat on just went up in smoke.