if the setup was O.K. on paper, in practice ..... [ if ]

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Jina Jeong

Senior Member

I have difficulty in understanding the bold sentence below, especially the word if.

Here is the text:
< --- > There was nothing illigal in Clinton's setting up the private server and choosing to do all of her government emailing on it. < --- > But to keep a good record of the public business, the National Archives discourages federal employees from using personal email for work, and no one has ever had an arrangement as elaborate as Clinton's.
More important, if the setup was O.K. on paper, in practice Clinton anf her aides could have violated multiple laws in how they used it. For starters, it is a crime to willfully destroy government records: if any work emails were improperly erased, Clinton could be in trouble. < --- >

I guess if here means even if. Am I right?

I would really appreciate it if you reply to my question.
Thank you in advance!

< --- > Text reduced to comply with our 4-sentence limit on quotation (Rule 4). We also ask you to name the source. Where did you see this? Cagey, moderator.
Last edited by a moderator:
  • exgerman

    Senior Member
    English but my first language was German
    Yes. It means even if. The clause means even if the setup was legitimate in theory/as planned,...
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