Though it appears Hillary Clinton was flat-out wrong when she asserted this week that she "never had a subpoena" issued to her by the House committee investigating the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya, Politico apparently can't bring itself to characterize her claim as false.
Instead, Politico presents the issue as a simple he-said-she-said between the Benghazi panel and pro-Clinton activists.
The former secretary of State said in a CNN interview that aired Tuesday that she "never had a subpoena" and that everything she did as secretary of State, including conducting all business from a private, unauthorized email server set up in her New York home, "was permitted by law and regulation."
The Democratic presidential candidate came under close scrutiny after it was revealed that she had deleted thousands of State Department emails from her private sever.
Clinton's first point, that she "never had a subpoena," appears to be incorrect, as the chairman of the Benghazi panel, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., suggested Wednesday when he released a copy of the document he issued Clinton on March 4.
"I would not make this [subpoena] public now, but after Secretary Clinton falsely claimed the committee did not subpoena her, I have no choice in order to correct the inaccuracy," Gowdy said in a statement. Leading House Republicans soon circulated images of the March 4 subpoena on social media:
Politico's take on the issue focuses mostly on the timing between the subpoena's issuance and when Clinton's team decided to delete the State Department emails.
"One of the biggest points of contention Wednesday was whether Clinton had, in fact, been subpoenaed. When CNN asked why she would delete emails and wipe her server clean while under subpoena, she said she hadn't been subpoenaed," Politico's Rachel Bade reported.
"Her defenders, however, note that she likely erased messages before the subpoena was issued. The exact timing is unclear, but Benghazi panel Republicans expect it was in the fall of 2014, several months before their March subpoena," the article added.
However, according to Clinton's critics, the issue isn't when the subpoena was issued, it is whether it had been issued at all (it was).
"For 20 months, it was not too burdensome or cumbersome for the secretary to house records on her personal server but mysteriously in the fall of 2014 she decided to delete and attempt to permanently destroy those same records," the House panel headed by Gowdy said in a statement.
The sources cited by Politico are not alone in suggesting that Clinton wasn't completely wrong when she said she had never been issued a subpoena. Vox's Jonathan Allen, for example, suggested Thursday that Clinton really meant she had never been issued a subpoena prior to the deletion of State Department emails.