Friday’s bombshell revelation that Hillary Clinton’s private email server has been scrubbed of all of the emails she sent as secretary of state has raised questions over the timeline of that erasure.
A review of her limited statements on the scandal suggests that it could have occurred as recently as this month.
Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, sent a letter to the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Friday in response to its subpoena of Clinton’s emails and its request to inspect her server, which was registered to her Chappaqua, N.Y. home.
Kendall’s letter prompted South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy to issue a statement asserting that Clinton’s server has been “wiped clean.”
While it was already known that Clinton’s aides had deleted more than 30,000 emails she claimed were personal in nature, scrubbing the server leaves the appearance that Clinton took extra steps to ensure that it will be either impossible or extremely difficult to review those emails to see if she turned over all official records. (RELATED: Trey Gowdy: Hillary’s Server Was Recently ‘Wiped Clean’)
Gowdy was unable to determine exactly when that erasure happened, saying only that it occurred sometime after Oct. 28. Kendall’s letter is vague on the matter.
That leaves the press and the public trying to divine meaning from the few statements Clinton has offered during the fallout from the scandal.
One potentially telling comment came during her March 10 press conference.
“The server contains personal communications from my husband and me,” Clinton said. “And I believe I have met all my responsibilities and the server will remain private, and I think the State Department will be able over time to release the records that were provided.”
Clinton’s use of the present-tense and her assertion that the server would remain private leaves open the possibility that the emails were still housed on the server when she made those remarks.
If Clinton did indeed scrub the server after its existence was first reported earlier this month, that would raise even more questions of whether she is trying to hide something.
The Daily Caller reached out to Kendall to find out when the server was wiped clean. He responded, but only with a forwarded copy of the letter he sent to the Benghazi committee on Friday.
A spokesman for the Benghazi committee was not able to comment on the matter, only referring to Gowdy’s statement that the server was wiped sometime after Oct. 28.
In his letter to the Benghazi committee, Kendall wrote that after Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of her official government emails she “chose not to keep her non-record personal e-mails.”
She then “asked that her account (which was no longer in active use) be set to retain only the most recent 60 days of e-mail.” Kendall does not clear up exactly when Clinton decided to do this or when the actual scrubbing happened.
“To avoid prolonging a discussion that would be academic, I have confirmed with the Secretary’s IT support that no e-mails from firstname.lastname@example.org for the time period January 21, 2009 through February 1, 2013 reside on the server or any back-up systems associated with the server,” Kendall wrote in the letter.
“Thus, there are no email@example.com emails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized.”
Kendall maintained that Clinton took extraordinary steps in turning over her emails to the State Department. He also asserted that it is up to individual federal employees to determine what constitutes an official government record. Therefore, he argues that Clinton is under no obligation to allow outside oversight.