As I mentioned in prior posts, from the very start Hillary Clinton’s email and server stories were inconsistent and self-contradictory.

On the one hand, in her March 10, 2015 press conference, Hillary said the server housing her email system would not be turned over because it contained personal messages between her and Bill. Hillary’s answer suggested that the server existed and was under her control. (Put aside that Bill’s spokesman says he only sent two emails in his life, when he was President.)

The server contains personal communications from my husband and me, and I believe I have met all of my responsibilities and the server will remain private … [transcript]

On the other hand, we now know that the actual server which ran the email system while Hillary was Secretary of State was taken into the custody of Colorado-based Platte River Networks in or about June 2013, the data was transferred somewhere, the server was wiped clean, and then physically stored in New Jersey.

(Bookworm Room has a very helpful chronology with sources of the email and server stories and events.)

So what and where was the server Hillary was refusing to turn over in March 2015 that contained personal information? It could not have been the wiped server just turned over the the Feds by Platte River Networks because that server was blank and not under Hillary’s control.

The server with the data had to be somewhere else, as I suggested in How did Hillary’s lawyers search a server no longer in her possession and which had been wiped clean?

Another discrepancy suggesting the existence of a second server was that Hillary’s attorneys in the Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit represented to the court that Hillary did not ask for her attorneys to search her emails on until “late 2014.”

But how could they search the emails if the server had been wiped clean over a year earlier and was sitting in a storage facility in New Jersey, unless there was [another] place where all the data resided? (The thumb drives possessed by the attorneys apparently contain only the emails Hillary acknowledges are federal records.)

So, Hillary’s refusal to turn over the original wiped server appears to have been something of a mislead, as I explained in Hillary refusal to turn over server for months may have led people off the trail.

There had to be a second server or at least database somewhere with all the emails in undeleted form. That was the only consistent story, though it was not the story Hillary or her attorneys were telling.

But it was the story I thought had to be the case.

And we may be inching closer to that reality, as Jon Karl at ABC News reports that Platte River Networks has informed the federal government that there likely is a backup of the server:

(Via Twitchy)

Why is this potentially huge trouble for Hillary?

Remember, she has staked her entire defense on only truly personal emails (Yoga, Chelsea’s wedding, her mother’s death) being withheld. If that turns out not to be true, Hillary has potentially campaign-ending credibility problems.

But there’s more. Remember I asked Did Hillary just walk into a perjury trap over her emails? after she submitted a Declaration under penalty of perjury in the Judicial Watch FOIA litigation. While Hillary left herself some potential dodges and outs, she nonetheless represented to the court, among other things:

“While I do not know what information may be “responsive” for purposes of this law suit, I have directed that all my e-mails on in my custody that were or potentially were federal records to be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.”

“As a result of my directive, approximately 55,000 pages of these emails were produced to the Department on December 5, 2014.”

If it turns out that not all potentially federal records were turned over, and if there is evidence that Hillary knew that representation to be false at the time of the Declaration, Hillary may face a perjury prosecution, or more likely because of the lower level of proof needed, obstruction of justice.

In fact, depending on how the evidence turns out once the “Second Server” is examined, the Feds could plausibly claim that the entire private server and deletion scenario was an attempt to obstruct justice.

So the Second Server, or backup database, could prove to be a major legal headache for Hillary.

And that’s not even getting into the problems of classified information, which could be more serious than originally reported. There now appear to be at least 60 emails containing retstricted information based on initial sampling, as The Washington Times reports:

While media coverage has focused on a half-dozen of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s personal emails containing sensitive intelligence, the total number of her private emails identified by an ongoing State Department review as having contained classified data has ballooned to 60, officials told The Washington Times.

That figure is current through the end of July and is likely to grow as officials wade through a total of 30,000 work-related emails that passed through her personal email server, officials said. The process is expected to take months….

Among the first 60 flagged emails, nearly all contained classified secrets at the lowest level of “confidential” and one contained information at the intermediate level of “secret,” officials told the Times.

Those 60 emails do not include two emails identified in recent days by Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III as containing “top-secret” information possibly derived from Pentagon satellites, drones or intercepts, which is some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets.

The Hillary emails scandal is picking up steam.

The political vultures are circling. And Democrats are panicking.

At some point the Democratic Party decides that it cannot risk the generational devastation which would follow the collapse of its presumptive nominee late in the campaign season.

When that point comes, all bets are off.