Editorial: Clinton should own her mistakes in email scandal

Hillary Clinton should just admit to serious mistakes with her emails.
Hillary Clinton should just admit to serious mistakes with her emails. Associated Press/File 2013

Perhaps the only constant in Hillary Clinton’s defense against the email scandal in which she is mired is that her Republican opponents are the only ones keeping it alive.

The truth is that Republican presidential candidates and Democratic contender Bernie Sanders have not needed to fan the controversy arising from Clinton’s decision to use a private server and personal email account to conduct government affairs when she served as secretary of state.

It is Clinton’s inept attempts to dismiss serious questions as being politically motivated, as well as her many differing defenses for doing something that was plainly wrong, that are creating serious cracks in her bid to win the Democratic nomination and succeed Barack Obama as president of the United States.

Here are the most cogent points as we see them:

▪ By relying on a private server housed in her New York home, Clinton violated State Department guidelines. We don’t care that other past officials, such as Colin Powell, also conducted official business using personal email.

▪ Clinton has said that none of her private-server emails contained classified information. But the Obama administration said Jan. 29 that Clinton’s home server contained “closely guarded government secrets.”

▪ One of her top aides also had a private email account on the Clinton server. How then could have all of her email communication to staff been preserved in the State Department’s system, as she has said?

▪ The FBI is investigating Clinton’s email setup – although, according to independent experts, it’s unlikely she would be charged with wrongdoing, based on what is known and the lack of indications that she intended to break laws.

Clinton’s best course of action is to admit, once and for all, that she made a serious mistake. A mistake that opened the door to the possibility of having some of our country’s most important secrets hacked by our enemies – or even a really bright kid using Wi-Fi at a coffee shop.

“What I would hope comes out of all of this is a bit of humility” and Clinton’s acknowledgment that “I made some serious mistakes,” said Bradley Moss, a Washington lawyer specializing in security clearance matters.

Thus far, Clinton has handled this email scandal in a manner unbecoming someone who wants to be the 45th U.S. president.

Clinton created this controversy with her poor judgment. She alone is the person who can end it and win back the trust of rightfully skeptical voters.