On Tuesday, writing for MSNBC's Maddowblog, Steve Benen argued that former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows deserves the same type of intensive national scrutiny over his email practices as were directed at Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign.
In part, Benen said, because Meadows himself was at the helm of congressional efforts to investigate Clinton — and should have known what he was doing.
"Look, I realize that 'but her emails' jokes in reference to Hillary Clinton are probably a little too easy. But that doesn't mean they're wrong," wrote Benen. "The fact that Clinton did not rely entirely on her state.gov address, the electorate was told, was evidence of her recklessness. She put the United States at risk, the argument went. For some, it might even have been literally criminal. During the presidential campaign, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan went so far as to formally request that Clinton be denied intelligence briefings — insisting that her email practices were proof that she couldn't be trusted."
Ultimately, Clinton was never charged criminally for her security policies — something many analysts were pointing out was not a realistic idea even before the FBI ruled it out. But it nonetheless was one of the biggest issues of the 2016 campaign.
"After her defeat, Donald Trump and his team took office, at which point top members of the president's inner circle began utilizing private email accounts. This didn't become a major national scandal because, well, I've never been altogether clear why not," wrote Benen. "But Meadows offers an even more striking example, not only because he was part of a Republican White House filled with Clinton critics who were doing what she did, but also because he was a GOP member of Congress — who helped investigate Clinton's email practices in 2016."
"It nevertheless appears that the Republican used 'a personal cellphone, a Signal account and two personal Gmail accounts for government business,'" concluded Benen. "It's something to keep in mind the next time a rabid GOP crowd starts chanting, 'Lock her up.'"
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