According to a Monmouth University poll released on Wednesday, 52 percent of voters say Hillary Clintons emails should be subject to a criminal investigation for potential release of classified material.
The survey was conducted before news broke on Tuesday night that Clinton herself had turned over to the government her personal email server and USB thumb drives containing copies of the emails.
While a majority told pollsters they wanted the feds to investigate Clinton’s personal email account during her time as Secretary of State, 41 percent said the emails should not be the subject to this type of investigation. Not surprisingly when it comes to Clinton, there is a huge partisan divide on the issue. Eighty percent of Democrats say the reason that she housed her email account on her own personal server was a matter of convenience, while 68 percent of Republicans say she has something to hide. A majority of independents (54 percent) support an investigation, as do 82 percent of Republicans. Two-thirds of Democrats (66 percent) are opposed.
The poll also finds that Clinton has has high negative ratings among independent voters, currently standing at 27 percent favorable to 52 percent unfavorable. Her overall voter rating in the Monmouth survey is 38 percent favorable to 48 percent unfavorable.
Meanwhile, the Clinton camp is fighting back with their supporters. A statement issued out today by press secretary Jennifer Palmieri to supporters said that “there’s s a lot of misinformation, so bear with us; the truth matters on this.” Read her memo below:
Here are the basics: Like other Secretaries of State who served before her, Hillary used a personal email address, and the rules of the State Department permitted it. She’s already acknowledged that, in hindsight, it would have been better just to use separate work and personal email accounts. No one disputes that.
The State Department’s request: Last year, as part of a review of its records, the State Department asked the last four former Secretaries of State to provide any work-related emails they had. Hillary was the only former Secretary of State to provide any materials — more than 30,000 emails. In fact, she handed over too many — the Department said it will be returning over 1,200 messages to her because, in their and the National Archives’ judgment, these messages were completely personal in nature.
Hillary didn’t send any classified materials over email: Hillary only used her personal account for unclassified email. No information in her emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them. She viewed classified materials in hard copy in her office or via other secure means while traveling, not on email.
What makes it complicated: It’s common for information previously considered unclassified to be upgraded to classified before being publicly released. Some emails that weren’t secret at the time she sent or received them might be secret now. And sometimes government agencies disagree about what should be classified, so it isn’t surprising that another agency might want to conduct its own review, even though the State Department has repeatedly confirmed that Hillary’s emails contained no classified information at the time she sent or received them.
To be clear, there is absolutely no criminal inquiry into Hillary’s email or email server. Any and all reports to that effect have been widely debunked. Hillary directed her team to provide her email server and a thumb drive in order to cooperate with the review process and to ensure these materials were stored in a safe and secure manner.
What about the Benghazi committee? While you may hear from the Republican-led Benghazi committee about Hillary’s emails, it is important to remember that the committee was formed to focus on learning lessons from Benghazi to help prevent future tragedies at our embassies and consulates around the globe. Instead, the committee, led by Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, is spending nearly $6 million in taxpayer money to conduct a partisan witch-hunt designed to do political damage to Hillary in the run-up to the election.
Hillary has remained absolutely committed to cooperating. That’s why, just as she gave her email server to the government, she’s also testifying before the Benghazi committee in October and is actively working with the Justice Department to make sure they have what they need. She hopes that her emails will continue to be released in a timely fashion.
It’s worth noting: Many of the Republican candidates for president have done the same things for which they’re now criticizing Hillary. As governor, Jeb Bush owned his own private server and his staff decided which emails he turned over as work-related from his private account. Bobby Jindal went a step further, using private email to communicate with his immediate staff but refusing to release his work-related emails. Scott Walker and Rick Perry had email issues themselves.
The bottom line: Look, this kind of nonsense comes with the territory of running for president. We know it, Hillary knows it, and we expect it to continue from now until Election Day.
It’s okay. We’ll be ready. We have the facts, our principles, and you on our side. And it’s vital that you read and absorb the real story so that you know what to say the next time you hear about this around the dinner table or the water cooler.