Clinton Campaign Chair Podesta Proposed Dumping Emails

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In March 2015 Hillary Clinton’s team was becoming extremely concerned about the email investigation, and were discussing how they could dump emails and which ones would be okay to turn over to investigators.

In an exchange between staff, including John Podesta, Cheryl Mills, Robby Mook and Marc Elias on March 2, 2015, Podesta suggested the dump.

Elias, an attorney serving as General Counselor for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, had sent an email recommending a new staff member for the campaign.  After they agreed that the referral was acceptable, Podesta responded with:

“On another matter…. And not to sound like Lanny, but we are going to have to dump all those emails so better to do so sooner than later.”

This occurred four days before Clinton ally Tom Nides wrote to Podesta suggesting they go through all the emails and “pull the official ones.”

Their problems increased when Mike Schmidt from the NY Times sent a notice on March 17, 2015 that they were getting ready to run a story about “how Mrs. Clinton’s top advisers at the State Department used their private email accounts for some of their email correspondences with her.”

Schmidt said, “We’ve learned that Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Philippe Reines, Jake Sullivan and Monica Hanley, used personal email accounts to correspond with her on her personal account. She also corresponded with Sidney Blumenthal about inside information he had about Libya.”

He had a few questions he wanted Clinton’s press secretary, Nick Merrill, to answer for the story:

Why did the advisers use private email accounts – instead of government ones – to correspond with Mrs. Clinton?

Was this the normal practice

Why did Mrs. Clinton suggest that her emails were being captured in the State Department system when she was corresponding at times with her aides on their personal accounts?

Were Mrs. Clinton’s advisers given legal advice about whether it was appropriate for them to correspond with her using their personal accounts?

Why did Mrs. Clinton rely on the advice of Sidney Blumenthal?

Nick forward the request on to other campaign staff, saying it “was fairly irresponsible for them to cherry pick leaked emails and write it up as representative. And some of the questions below are a little ridiculous to say the least.”

They deliberated among themselves about how to respond, and wondered just what emails the NY Times had that they were referring to.

Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s foreign policy adviser, decided, “We should put out the 300. If Gowdy is leaking this fact, we have to just put the emails out and say, those are they.”

(As of this writing, WikiLeaks has put out almost 42,000 emails from John Podesta’s account alone.)

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