In an interview with CNN Monday evening, outgoing House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) served up some pretty blatant hypocrisy in terms of when it’s okay for government officials to use private email servers.
“Certainly when things like this come up, it’s important people understand, they need to make sure that they’re doing what they can,” he said sympathetically of recent news that Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of White House emails from her personal account. According to the Washington Post’s reporting, many of these emails violated federal records rules.
“It’s awfully tough, as everyone knows, when you’re sending emails about a lot of different things, to make sure that you’re doing it according to the rules in the White House or wherever you’re doing it,” Goodlatte said.
“I’m sure Hillary Clinton would agree with you,” CNN host Erin Burnett sarcastically replied.
The distinction Goodlatte attempted to draw between Trump’s emails and those sent by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was that Clinton sent emails that contained classified information. Clinton had insisted for some time that she hadn’t, but records later showed that she had, albeit in many cases because the information was only classified after the fact.
But while Goodlatte seemed content to turn a blind eye to Trump’s violations, he is still pursuing investigations against Clinton years after the fact. Just last week, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch to testify about Clinton’s emails. Comey has objected to the closed-door format of the proposed hearing, with his lawyer calling them “a political stunt.”
It’s only the latest subpoena Goodlatte has employed in his scrutiny of Clinton’s emails. In March, for example, he subpoenaed Justice Department records about the 2016 investigation. The FBI responded by having to double the number of staffers — to 54 —handling House Republican requests digging for related information.
Goodlatte is retiring at the end of his term in January. Furthermore, because Democrats won control of the House, this is his last opportunity to wield his power on the House Judiciary Committee to benefit the political interests of his fellow Republican lawmakers.