Why Mark Meadows’ Use of Personal Email Accounts Matters
The New York Times reported overnight the latest revelations regarding former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, the investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, and the likelihood that the North Carolina Republican will stand trial for contempt of Congress after ignoring a subpoena. Throughout the article, in the 28th paragraph of a 37-paragraph report, readers are alerted to related news:
The panel said it also had questions about Mr Meadows’ use of a personal cell phone, a Signal account and two personal Gmail accounts for government business, and whether he had properly handed over the records of these accounts in the National Archives.
Listen, I realize that the “but his email” jokes in reference to Hillary Clinton are probably a little too easy. But that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.
In case anyone managed to block 2016 from their minds, the American electorate was told for many months that the former Secretary of State’s email protocols were one of the defining political issues of our era. As Election Day 2016 approached and the United States faced the prospect of electing a ridiculous TV personality to the nation’s highest office, “email” was the thing voters heard the most about. about the most capable and qualified candidate.
The fact that Clinton did not entirely trust her state.gov address, the electorate was told, was evidence of her recklessness. She put the United States at risk, the argument goes. For some, it could even have been literally criminal.
During the presidential campaign, then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan went so far as to formally request that Clinton be denied intelligence briefings – insisting that his intelligence practices email were proof that he could not be trusted.
After his defeat, Donald Trump and his team took office, at which time key members of the president’s inner circle began using private email accounts.
It didn’t become a major national scandal because, well, I was never quite clear why not. It might have been a bigger story if the Republican White House hadn’t been rocked regularly by controversies of greater historical significance. Perhaps the political media concluded – a little too late – that messaging protocols weren’t as important as they seemed in 2016.
But Meadows offers an even starker example, not only because he was part of a Republican White House filled with critics of Clinton who did what she did, but also because he was a GOP member of Congress – who helped investigate Clinton’s messaging practices in 2016.
In fact, it was the Republican-led House Oversight Committee that held hearings on Clinton’s email protocols before Election Day 2016, and it was Meadows who served on the committee there. ‘era.
Four years later, he became the White House chief of staff — a position in which Meadows had access to highly classified information and a job in which he had to use government-issued accounts and electronic devices.
However, it appears that the Republican used “a personal cell phone, a Signal account and two personal Gmail accounts for government business.”
That’s something to keep in mind the next time an enraged GOP mob starts chanting, “Lock her up.”