Senator Feingold and Hillary Clinton: hounded by State Department email scandals

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From The Hill:

Johnson released a web ad Tuesday asking, “What is Feingold hiding?” It argues the Democrat and the State Department should “follow the law” by releasing emails from when Feingold served as the special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa.

“Senator Feingold’s State Department email scandal is just like Hillary Clinton’s — so much so that it can be difficult to tell the two apart,” said Brian Reisinger a spokesman for Johnson’s campaign.

He added if the former senator “has nothing to hide and he wasn’t illegally running a shadow campaign while at the State Department, he should demand that the State Department follow the law and release his emails immediately.”

The ad splices national TV news footage on the private email server scandal that has haunted Clinton’s Democratic presidential campaign with reports on the GOP-led push to get the State Department to release Feingold’s emails before the election.

Republicans have pounced on the issue after the State Department told the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in August that it wouldn’t be able to complete its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Feingold’s emails and other details until December.

In addition to the NRSC, the conservative America Rising PAC has also requested Feingold’s email records from the State Department, where he served under Secretary of State John Kerry.

Republicans believe the release of the emails will prove that Feingold planned his 2016 Senate campaign from the State Department.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel late last month alleging that Feingold violated the Hatch Act, which restricts how government employees can engage in certain political actives.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The Johnson ad attempts to link Feingold with Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, who used a private email server while secretary of state. Using television footage from newscasts, the ad goes back and forth between discussing Clinton and Feingold.

The ad leads viewers to a petition that calls on Feingold and the State Department to follow the law and a timeline on what the Johnson side calls Senator Feingold’s campaign scandals.

From the Washington Free Beacon:

Feingold has been accused of potentially violating federal law by discussing his intent to challenge Johnson while working as a special envoy at the State Department. A person in government who does not work in an outward political role is prohibited from political activity. Such correspondence would be a violation of the Hatch Act.

News reports from last year have pinned Feingold’s discussions dealing with the campaign to numerous politicians as he was still serving at the department. Feingold recently contradicted these reports.

Calls for Feingold to release his email correspondence have increased in recent weeks after the State Department acknowledged documents requested 20 months ago through a Freedom of Information Act request will not be released until one month after the November elections.

“Senator Feingold’s State Department email scandal is just like Hillary Clinton’s–so much so that it can be difficult to tell the two apart,” Johnson campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger said. “If Senator Feingold has nothing to hide and he wasn’t illegally running a shadow campaign while at the State Department, he should demand that the State Department follow the law and release his emails immediately.”
From Right Wisconsin:

A newly released web ad by the Johnson campaign, ties his lack of transparency on State Department emails to Hillary Clinton.

Also over the weekend, both the Johnson campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Campaign (NRSC) pointed out discrepancies made by Feingold himself in an interview with the Appleton Post-Crescent last week . This contradicts a number of previous comments Feingold made in the past few years according to the Washington Free Beacon.

From Wisconsin Watchdog:

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s campaign is on the attack.

The campaign rolled out a digital ad Tuesday comparing his opponent with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her State Department email scandals.

Johnson, R-Oshkosh, is locked in a tough reelection battle with long-time Middleton liberal politician Russ Feingold, who wants the job Johnson and Wisconsin voters took from him in 2010.

In the ad, the Johnson campaign calls for Feingold to release emails from his time as special envoy in the State Department.

As Wisconsin Watchdog first reported, Feingold spoke with key Democratic Party officials about a rematch with Johnson while he worked for State. Republicans allege Feingold violated the federal Hatch Act, a nearly 80-year-old law that prohibits executive-level employees from campaigning or moving to establish a political campaign.

Feingold has downplayed the allegations as nothing more than political gamesmanship from a candidate down by 6 points in the latest Marquette University Law School poll.The Democrat, however, has changed his story about when he began seriously talking about his Senate run and the extent of those conversations.

“Senator Feingold’s State Department email scandal is just like Hillary Clinton’s – so much so that it can be difficult to tell the two apart,” Johnson campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger said in a statement. “If Senator Feingold has nothing to hide and he wasn’t illegally running a shadow campaign while at the State Department, he should demand that the State Department follow the law and release his emails immediately.”

As Politico reported last month, the State Department will not release the documents until December, one month after the general election and some two years after Republicans filed a Freedom of Information Act request for them.