Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hand over her private email server -- and a thumb-drive -- to investigators looking into whether she broke federal laws and protocols involving top secret communications, a spokesman said.
It’s the scandal that Republicans hope will fatally tarnish the political hopes of the former U.S. senator from New York, the Democrat who is, for now, expected to win her political party’s nod for the presidency.
The mainstream media is largely portraying this as Clinton crying “uncle!” after a daily drumbeat of reports that at best portrayed her as secretive and at worst, an arrogant liar.
So what’s the big deal? In a word: Benghazi.
Congressional Republicans have launched several investigations into the State Department’s handling, while Clinton ran the show there, of an attack in Benghazi, Libya that left the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead.
Clinton decided which emails to hand over to investigators when she was told to produce, something that has vexed her GOP opponents for months and red meat for conspiracy theorists.
Early in the Benghazi probes, Clinton famously lashed out at congressional questioners.
"Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans," Clinton said in January 2013. "What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?"
Here’s how the server scandal is playing on the Interwebs:
CNN: The decision to hand over the server , as well as a thumb drive of all her work-related emails to the Justice Department, represents an effort to blunt an expanding probe into the use of a private email account.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Hillary Clinton relented Tuesday to months of demands she relinquish the personal email server she used while secretary of state, directing the device be given to the Justice Department. "All this means is that Hillary Clinton, in the face of FBI scrutiny, has decided she has run out of options," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus . "She knows she did something wrong and has run out of ways to cover it up."
BUZZFEED : House Speaker John Boehner said it was “about time” Clinton handed over her private email server to authorities. “Secretary Clinton’s previous statements that she possessed no classified information were patently untrue,” Boehner said. “Her mishandling of classified information must be fully investigated.”
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Republicans leading the Benghazi Select Committee inquiry into the Libya attacks have questioned why Clinton herself was allowed to determine what constituted whether an email was personal or work-related and have pressed her to turn over her private email server.
NEW YORK TIMES: Since the account was revealed in March, Mrs. Clinton has been widely criticized for creating an email system that she said was more convenient for her, but that also helped shield her correspondence from Congress and the news media .
POLITICO: The FBI opened a probe of the security of Clinton’s private email setup after an intelligence community inspector general found four classified messages while inspecting a small pool of just 40 of Clinton’s 35,000 emails.
The FBI opened its investigation after the inspector general who oversees the U.S. intelligence agencies, I. Charles McCullough III, told them he was concerned that there was classified information on Clinton’s servers.
McCullough has said he found at least four emails in a sample of 40 Clinton emails he was allowed to inspect contained information that was classified at the time it was sent, including two that contained information deemed "top secret", the highest classification level.
The government forbids the sending of classified information outside unsecured networks because it could harm national security if intercepted.
It’s unclear what the decision to hand over the server will mean since Team Clinton has said it was erased.
"She pledged to cooperate with the government's security inquiry, and if there are more questions, we will continue to address them," a Team Clinton spokesman.