Why the Hillary Clinton email scandal is bigger than email

Former Secretary of State and presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton is being bombarded on all sides after her exclusive use of personal email became public last week. Her belated explanations have not sufficed, and experts on all sides are wondering if the former first lady may have jeopardized US interests by using a vulnerable form of communication and deleting many of her emails.

But don’t expect all that to stop Hillary, who is treating the flap like many of the events that have defined her political career.

“The Clintons play by their own set of rules. And in this case, the former Secretary of State explained, those rules bless her decision to erase some 30,000 emails from the family server despite knowing that the emails had become a subject of intense interest to congressional investigators,” David Von Drehle writes.

“These were merely ‘private personal emails,’ Clinton averred, “emails about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes.’ After she finished taking questions, Clinton’s staff disclosed that no one actually read through those 30,000-odd documents before she ‘chose not to keep’ them.”

TIME notes that “the twin drivers of the Clinton soap opera” over the past 22 years “have been their penchant for secrecy and their menagerie of rich associates,” adding that given the family is once again on the cusp of living in the White House, “the Clintons have little reason to change their MO now.”

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