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Wikileaks releases 26th bundle of Podesta emails

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With less than a week to go to Election Day, Wikileaks dropped a 26th release of emails hacked from the account of a top aide to Hillary Clinton, as Wikileaks continues to trumpet the contents of those behind-the-scenes communications.

Here is some of what I’ve seen:

1. Clinton campaign has friends in high places. This should be no surprise to anyone, but it will certainly fuel more conspiracy theories about the investigation into the Clinton emails, as it’s not hard to find contacts between the Clinton camp and friends they have in the Obama Administration. One friend of Podesta is Peter Kadzik, now the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs at the Justice Department. In one email released today, he gives Podesta a heads up about a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, where it’s possible that Republicans will bring up the subject of Clinton’s email server from her time as Secretary of State. Podesta forwards that on to other Clinton aides, adding, “Additional chances for mischief.”

2. Email investigation gets in the way of Clinton outreach. In this email from May of 2015 – after Clinton has announced her candidacy, Huma Abedin recommends to Podesta that Clinton not drop by for meetings with Democrats in the House and Senate – mainly because it’s not clear when a hearing will be scheduled with the Benghazi panel chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). “We can do Hill meetings on next trip,” Abedin says.

3. Struggling with reporters over Clinton emails. One theme of many emails is the Clinton team trying to react to reporters sniffing around the story of Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State. In this email released today, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill relates that he had “civil but unproductive conversations” with a New York Times reporter who was trying to write an email story back in mid-March of 2015.

4. What does the word “dump” mean? To a reporter like myself, I had to chuckle when I saw all the outrage about John Podesta talking about the need to “dump” Hillary Clinton emails. The meaning was obvious – a news “dump” – where you get the information out there, usually late on a Friday to hope people miss it. But that wasn’t how many – including Donald Trump – took an email released yesterday where Podesta told Clinton lawyer Cheryl Mills that “we are going to have to dump all those emails so better to do so sooner than later.” It’s all part of the internal battle in Clinton World over how to deal with Clinton’s emails from her time as Secretary of State. Some aides wanted them all out at once – instead, it turned into a drip, drip, drip that has lasted for over a year, and is still causing problems for Clinton.

5. No Wikileaks Surprise on November 1. As I had suspected, despite a lot of talk, there was no big surprise leak from Wikileaks on November 1. All sorts of people had been saying it was going to happen soon, that it might be the release of all the emails that Hillary Clinton deleted from her email server, or even something bigger. At the start of the week, Wikileaks had boasted about a new “phase” in their dealings with the race for President in the U.S., but nothing has materialized as yet. On some things, Wikileaks has simply been bluffing – like having emails from Podesta after March 21, 2016.


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