The Evolution of Hillary's Email Defense, Explained

August 6, 2015

Hillary Clinton has repeatedly insisted she did nothing wrong with her exclusive use of a private email account (hosted on a private server in her house) during her time as Secretary of State. Her language describing her server, however, has evolved significantly over time. Here's a rundown:

March 10, 2015: "I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material."

Translation: Self explanatory.

July 25, 2015: "I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received."

Translation: My previous denial was too definitive, obviously, but I'm going to disagree (for now) with the intelligence community's inspector general's office, which found that some of my emails "were classified when they were sent and are classified now."

August 4, 2015: Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill tells the Washington Post that Clinton "did not send nor receive any emails that were marked classified at the time." 

Translation: Yeah, about my most recent denial. The inspector general was basically right, except the word "classified" wasn't physically written on any of the documents I sent, so what's the big deal?

According to the inspector general, the information in question "should have been handled as classified, appropriately marked, and transmitted via a secure network." Not, for example, over a home-brew server sitting in the Clintons' Georgetown mansion.

What will the next evolution look like?