When Bill and Hillary Clinton get caught for bad behavior, they follow a familiar pattern. First deny, then call it old news, then roll out the attack machine of media and political allies to trash whoever needs to be collateral damage to save them. The private email-Clinton Foundation saga is now in phase three, and no less than Colin Powell has been drafted as roadkill.
The Powell-made-Hillary-do-it defense emerged late last week in two parts. The New York Times reported that FBI interview notes turned over to Congress last week show that Mrs. Clinton told the G-men that Mr. Powell had advised her to use a personal email account. The Times didn’t name its source, but in these cases always ask who benefits from the leak? Answer: Mrs. Clinton.
The Times also reported in the same story that the advance copy of a new book by Joe Conason backs up the blame-it-on-Powell story. Aficionados of Clinton scandals will remember Mr. Conason as the most dedicated stenographer in the Clinton stable.
Mr. Conason has written a biography of Bill Clinton, “Man of the World.” And the Times reports that the book relates a conversation early in Mrs. Clinton’s time at State at a dinner party hosted by Madeleine Albright, another former Secretary of State. Mr. Conason writes that Mr. Powell “told [Mrs. Clinton] to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer.”
Mr. Conason writes that this conversation “confirmed a decision she had made months earlier—to keep her personal account and use it for most messages.” The Times notes that Mr. Conason “interviewed both Mr. and Mrs. Clinton for the book.” Voila, the Clintons are back at their old standby, the everybody-does-it defense.
Mr. Powell’s office released a statement saying he doesn’t recall that dinner conversation. And at a weekend event on Long Island, Mr. Powell told People magazine and the New York Post that Mrs. Clinton “was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did.” He added: “Her people have been trying to pin it on me.”...