More than a month before the April launch of her White House run, Hillary Clinton stood before a swarm of reporters at the United Nations headquarters and dealt with questions about her use of private emails for official business. It is an issue that has dogged her candidacy ever since.
Few doubted until this summer that Clinton, with vast institutional and popular support and little competition, would cruise to her coronation as the Democratic nominee for the presidency.
But many of her statements from those first defensive days have been proven false by a steady stream revelations from three congressional committees and four federal agencies investigating her use of a private email server. Just as damaging have been dozens of lawsuits pursued under the Freedom of Information Act, which have shown gaps in the batches of emails Clinton gave the State Department last year.
Despite raising more than four times as much campaign cash than her closest opponent, Clinton has seen her lead in the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire either shrink or vaporize entirely under the media scrutiny that has followed every twist in the email controversy.
Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, said the controversy is "just something that is never going to go away."
"The email situation doesn't really bother Democrats. What bothers Democrats about the whole situation is that she just fumbles it every single time," O'Connell said. "It's the optics of it. Every time she says something, it becomes untrue three weeks later."
O'Connell said the email story will dissipate only if the drip-drip of new information suddenly stopped and the facts were allowed to stand as they are today. He said there is also a possibility that Republicans, as the main drivers of the scandal narrative, could overplay their hand.
As O'Connell noted, the absence of new information and the aggressive repetition of existing information could test voters' appetite for the truth in the email scandal. From IRS targeting to Islamic State beheadings, the public can seemingly tire of any story if the flow of fresh details ends.