LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 18: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answers questions from journalists after speaking to north Las Vegas voters at a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, on Tuesday, August 18, 2015. The former Secretary was answering questions about emails sent and received a private server system, now in question, while she was the Secretary of State. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

“Trustworthy” Hillary Clinton Deleted Benghazi Emails

Turns out that not all of the emails Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deleted from her private server dealt with yoga and dinner plans. Unless, that is, Clinton was doing yoga at a studio named Benghazi, or Benghazi was the name of some local fair-trade organic grocery store. The Associated Press reported Tuesday afternoon that lawyers with the State Department informed a federal judge that some 30 emails related to Benghazi were discovered among those that Clinton deleted from her private e-mail server. An undisclosed number of the emails were not turned over to federal investigators during their probe of Clinton’s creative email practices.

In a demonstration of just how slowly the government works, federal lawyers told the judge presiding over the email release case that it would be late September before they could redact any confidential/classified information from the 30 or so documents and release them to the public. The judge has urged them to shorten that timeline.

Remarkably, Democrats have not abandoned Clinton en masse since her self-inflicted email scandal first began. Once it became clear that the grouchy socialist from Vermont wasn’t going to clench the Democratic presidential nomination, the Democratic Party’s top candidates, officials and operatives fell in line behind the Clinton machine.

Among those Democrats who have backed Clinton is Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, who is running this year to recapture his old Senate seat, which he lost in 2010 to Republican Sen. Ron Johnson. Asked about Clinton earlier this week, Feingold called her “reliable and trustworthy” and went on to say:

“What I’m saying is, it’s a whole other thing when somebody is the president of the United States. And that the highest level of scrutiny should be applied to something like that when somebody becomes president.”

Feingold has suggested that Clinton should divest herself of any ties to the controversial Clinton Foundation, and that he has said he is “troubled” by how Clinton used private email servers and addresses to circumvent State Department systems.

But despite being “troubled” by her inability to tell the truth about her email use, and despite his skepticism of the Clinton Foundation, Feingold still believes Hillary Clinton is “trustworthy.”

And Feingold’s not alone in his sentiments. Wisely, most Democrats don’t go as far Feingold, but they also don’t admit that Clinton’s behavior has been less than honest, candid or straightforward.

Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona claimed she didn’t hear the question, and then proceeded to not answer the question, when she was asked on CNN in early August if she thought Clinton was “trustworthy.” In mid-August, Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) was asked the same question by CNN, and after initially dodging, ended up saying, “I think that she has demonstrated a commitment always to something beyond herself, bigger than herself.”

An NBC poll found that only 12% of Democratic voters think Clinton is trustworthy. That’s even worse than Donald Trump, who is thought to be trustworthy by only 19% of Republicans.

With Donald Trump’s poll numbers riding so low and, likely, taking some Republicans down with him, it is unclear if Democrats like Feingold will face any negative consequences for their near lock-step support for Clinton despite the universal perception that she is a pathological liar who cannot tell the truth if it draws into question some element or aspect of her past or present judgment.

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Brian Sikma

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