What Hillary Clinton should say, soon, about the e-mails. Should, probably won't.
First, I want to thank Director Comey and his staff at the FBI for their extraordinary efforts at investigating the circumstance surrounding my emails from the years when I was secretary of state. They had to have known that exceptional efforts needed to be taken, since whatever their report and recommendation would be, some people, maybe a lot of people, would criticize it. The best way to counter that is to do what they have done: Investigate with great thoroughness, and then analyze the results carefully in making recommendations. I believe they did just that.
You could say I'm happy to endorse the results because the director, and the agency, recommended no indictments in the case. But as we all also know, the director was also sharply critical of my handling of the emails, and the procedures used. And he was critical of what he described as a culture at the Department of State that was lax in handling classified material.
Let me be very clear here and reiterate as plainly as I can: I mishandled my emails during that period. I made a mistake - more than that, a running series of mistakes over a period of time. And I apologize to the American people for that, for putting classified material at risk. I will have a few more things to say here, but none of those changes any of that.
Today, however, the question should be: Can we make sure something like this doesn't happen again? It doesn't diminish my own culpability to recognize that many other people in sensitive positions have handled their email in similar ways, and many have, including some of my predecessors.
Our system of internal federal communications, especially in the area of classified information, is badly in need of an overhaul. One reason many people have resorted to informal communications methods, like private email servers, is that the official system for secure communications - which I also used over the years - is cumbersome and doesn't allow for the kind of efficient contacts and information sharing we need.
If I am elected president, I will first of all pledge to confine my communications to a better set of channels. But beyond that I will set about finding ways to improve our secure communications, making their efficient, speedy and effective as well as confidential.
There is a related subject we should address: The vast number of documents held by the federal government which are marked as confidential, whether "top secret" or otherwise. The numbers of such documents has exploded, and a large number of them are over-graded for security. I will seek a wide-ranging review of these records so we can make sure we focus our security efforts on those documents which really are sensitive, and allow the American people to inspect, as they should be able to, those which are not.
This has been a troubling case for many people, not least me. But lessons can be drawn from it, and we may be better off down the road from having had this discussion.