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Judicial Watch • JW v State FBI status report 01363

JW v State FBI status report 01363

JW v State FBI status report 01363

Page 1: JW v State FBI status report 01363

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Number of Pages:25

Date Created:September 21, 2015

Date Uploaded to the Library:September 25, 2015

Tags:Reines, Prince, PAGES, 01363, Abedin, Mills, order, documents, September, Secretary, defendant, filed, clinton, State Department, FBI, document, records, FOIA, department, robert, court, report


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Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document Filed 09/21/15 Page
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT
STATE,
Defendant.
Civil Action No. 13-CV-1363 (EGS)
DEFENDANT STATUS REPORT
Pursuant the Court August 20, 2015 Minute Order, defendant U.S. State Department State submits this status report. its minute order, the Court ordered State request that
the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) inform about any information recovered from
[former Secretary State Hillary] Clinton server and the related thumb drive that is: (a)
potentially relevant the FOIA request issue this case; and (b) not already the State
Department possession. The Court also ordered State file status report September the following issues: (1) the process agreed upon between the FBI and the State Department
for the sharing information relevant this lawsuit; (2) the status the Inspector General
the State Department report regarding Mrs. Clinton use private server; and (3)
timetable for the completion any ongoing searches related this lawsuit. Aug. 20, 2015
Minute Order. The Court subsequently ordered State include its September status report
information about the volume documents has received from Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin.
Sept. 11, 2015 Minute Order.
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document Filed 09/21/15 Page
Request the FBI and Communications Between State and the FBI September 2015, State sent letter the FBI, requesting that the FBI inform
about any information recovered from former Secretary Clinton server and the related thumb
drive that potentially relevant the FOIA request issue this case and not already
State possession. Sept. 2015 letter, attached hereto Exh. The letter summarized the
scope the FOIA request issue this case, and asked the FBI respond writing this
letter advance the due date this status report. Id.
State sent second letter the FBI regarding these issues September 14, 2015.
that letter, State first requested from the FBI electronic copy the approximately 55,000
pages identified potential federal records and produced behalf former Secretary Clinton the Department State December 2014. Sept. 14, 2015 letter, attached hereto Exh. Second, State requested that, the extent the FBI recovers any potential federal records that
may have existed the server various points time the past, [the FBI] apprise the [State]
Department insofar such records correspond with Secretary Clinton tenure the Department State. Id. Third, State requested that, [b]ecause [State commitment preserving its
federal records, any recoverable media and content preserved the FBI that can
determine how best proceed. Id. September 21, 2015, State received response from the FBI its September letter. copy the FBI response attached hereto Exhibit The substance that response follows: this time, consistent with long-standing Department Justice and FBI policy, can neither confirm nor deny the existence any ongoing investigation, nor are
position provide additional information this time. Id.
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document Filed 09/21/15 Page
II.
Status the State Department Inspector General Report
The State Department Office Inspector General OIG reports follows with
respect the status its investigation regarding former Secretary Clinton use private
server: April 2015, OIG Office Evaluations and Special Projects began review
State policies and procedures concerning the use, any, the past five Secretaries (Albright
through Kerry) and their immediate staffs non-departmental hardware and software conduct
official business. The review assessing, among other matters, efforts undertaken State
ensure that: (i) communications were and are conducted securely; (ii) government records were
and are properly identified and preserved; and (iii) government records were and are properly
processed pursuant the FOIA. OIG expects issue multiple reports these issues the
coming months.
OIG has already issued series memoranda conjunction with the Inspector General
for the Intelligence Community ICIG which are publicly available OIG website.
June 2015, OIG and ICIG conducted review the process that State was using release
former Secretary Clinton emails under the FOIA. result this joint review, July
2015, ICIG referred the FBI Counterintelligence Division issues associated with the
classification emails and documents former Secretary Clinton and her immediate staff, and
the existence such classified information the former Secretary personal server.
III.
Timetable for Completion Ongoing Searches and Information About
the Volume Documents from Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin
State anticipates that will complete October 20, 2015 the remaining searches
documents that are State possession and will then have basis estimate the volume
potentially responsive records that will require further review. This timeframe takes into account
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document Filed 09/21/15 Page
the volume additional documents State has received from Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin,
discussed below, and the revised searches State conducting, using the search terms and date
range agreed upon the parties, the State Department offices and agency records systems
that were initially searched (most which are completed). See Defendant July 30, 2015
Status Report (ECF No. 17) September 18, 2015, State produced Plaintiff pages
responsive records from these offices and record systems. August and September 2015, Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin, through counsel, provided
State with additional emails from non-state.gov accounts. Ms. Mills delivered additional
materials State August and 12. August 10, the Department received 120 megabytes electronic files containing 666 email files and 106 attachment folders. August 12, the
Department received 100 megabytes electronic files and hard copy documents consisting
approximately one cubic foot paper records, comprising estimated 3,000 pages. Ms.
Abedin delivered additional materials State August and September August the
Department received 35.5 megabytes data consisting one PDF file containing 2,185 pages documents. September the Department received 1.4 gigabytes electronic files
containing 348 pages documents and 6,714 emails. Further information regarding the
documents received from Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin contained the September status
report filed Leopold State (C.A. no. 15-cv-123-RC), attached hereto Exhibit
State conducting searches these newly provided documents, using the search terms
and date range agreed upon the parties. searched Ms. Mills August production and
found responsive records, and searched Ms. Abedin August production and likewise
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document Filed 09/21/15 Page
found responsive records. State proposes file status report October 26, 2015 which would propose production deadline for any potentially responsive, non-exempt records based the volume responsive records identified the search.
Dated: September 21, 2015
Respectfully submitted,
BENJAMIN MIZER
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General
MARCIA BERMAN
Assistant Director
/s/ Peter Wechsler
PETER WECHSLER (MA 550339)
Senior Counsel
United States Department Justice
Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Tel.: (202) 514-2705
Fax: (202) 616-8470
Email: peter.wechsler@usdoj.gov
Counsel for Defendant
The same true for the documents that Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin provided State
prior August 2015. See July Status Report
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 37-1 Filed 09/21/15 Page
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Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 37-4 Filed 09/18/15 Page
Case 1:15-cv-00123-RC Document
Filed 09/21/15 Page
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JASON LEOPOLD,
Plaintiff,
Civil Action No. 15-cv-123 (RC)
U.S. DEPARTMENT STATE,
Defendant.
DEFENDANT STATUS REPORT
Defendant U.S. Department State State response the Court Minute Order
September 11, 2015, respectfully submits this status report:
The parties, agreement, have limited the FOIA request (the narrowed FOIA
request (1) all records provided State former Secretary State Clinton described
Paragraph the Declaration John Hackett (ECF No. 12-1) the Clinton emails and
(2) all records from the files several former State officials (some identified name, some
title) the custodians related enumerated topics. See Order May 27, 2015 (ECF No.
16).
Three these custodians, Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and Phillippe Reines,
recently provided documents State that must searched for records responsive part (2)
the narrowed FOIA request. the status conference held September 11, 2015, undersigned
counsel told the Court that, before State can search the recently provided documents, must take
steps make them electronically searchable. The Court then ordered State file this status
report detailing (1) the estimated number documents that have been provided former State
Department employees Philippe Reines, Huma Abedin, and Cheryl Mills, respectively, and (2)
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 37-4 Filed 09/18/15 Page
Case 1:15-cv-00123-RC Document
Filed 09/21/15 Page
how far each those groups documents has progressed through the five-step scanning
process outlined [12-1] the Declaration John Hackett Hackett Declaration )].
addition, this status report provides additional information about two questions that the Court
asked the status conference: (1) what declarations have been filed the various cases that
address the Clinton emails; and (2) whether plaintiffs who have filed new FOIA cases that
address the Clinton emails have been attempting relate those new cases some, but not all,
the existing cases that also address those emails.
STATUS DOCUMENT PROCESSING
The recently provided documents were received from Ms. Abedin, Ms. Mills, and
Mr. Reines variety formats, some paper, some electronic.1 For this reason, and because
State running searches across the entirety these collections for purposes the specific
FOIA request but not reviewing the entirety these collections for public release, State has
tailored the steps taking prepare the documents for electronic searching for individual
FOIA requests that those searches can completed quickly possible. Thus, these steps
differ from the five-step process described the Hackett Declaration that was used scan and
digitize the Clinton emails.
Ms. Abedin made three separate submissions documents; the last submission
arrived September 2015. total, Ms. Abedin provided the following types documents:
(1) three PDFs containing emails, memos, daily schedules, call lists, notes, and other types
documents, totaling 2,871 pages; and (2) 6,714 individual PDFs, each containing one email
unknown number pages. Using estimate three pages per email, and adding the 2,871
Ms. Mills, Ms. Abedin, and Mr. Reines have indicated that they have produced State all potential federal records their possession.
-2-
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 37-4 Filed 09/18/15 Page
Case 1:15-cv-00123-RC Document
Filed 09/21/15 Page
pages from the three PDFs described (1), results total estimate approximately 23,000
pages provided Ms. Abedin. These documents have been loaded onto State network and
stored such that they are electronically searchable this time.
Mr. Reines provided approximately 70,000 pages hardcopy form July 28,
2015.2 After conducting initial assessment the contents these documents, which
comprised boxes, State learned that large subset the materials consists press clippings
assembled the Department daily basis and forwarded Mr. Reines personal email
account; these documents are not responsive part (2) the narrowed FOIA request and
not, therefore, need made electronically searchable for purposes this case.3 Those
portions the materials that are not press clippings, totaling approximately 16,000 pages, have
been loaded onto State case management system and are electronically searchable this time.
Ms. Mills made three separate submissions documents; the last submission
arrived August 12, 2015. total, Ms. Mills provided the following types documents:
(1) approximately 675 emails unknown size; (2) approximately 1,370 electronic documents
various other types, such Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files; and (3) one cubic foot box
paper documents, consisting estimated 3,000 pages. Using estimates pages per email
and pages per other type document, State has received total approximately 11,870 pages documents from Ms. Mills. The approximately 2,045 documents described (1) and (2) have
been loaded onto State network and stored such that they are electronically searchable.
Mr. Reines later provided the same documents electronic format TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) files,
format commonly used for scanned images. that point, however, the scanning had proceeded far enough along
that State believed faster continue using the paper copies load Mr. Reines documents.
Counsel for Plaintiff has confirmed via email that State should interpret part (2) the narrowed FOIA request
exclude [p]ublic media articles, public news videos, public news images, summaries any the preceding that
may have been circulated within State. See Email from Counsel attached.
-3-
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 37-4 Filed 09/18/15 Page
Case 1:15-cv-00123-RC Document
Filed 09/21/15 Page
convert the 3,000 pages paper documents described (3) electronically searchable form,
State must scan the documents into searchable PDFs. State anticipates completing this process September 25, 2015.4
DECLARATIONS RELATED FOIA PROCESSING STATE the September status conference, the Court asked undersigned counsel
there were other declarations related the Clinton emails and the recently provided documents,
other than those John Hackett that have been filed cited this case. There have been
two such declarations filed Judicial Watch U.S. Dep State. See Declaration Joseph
McManus, Civ. No. 13-1363 (EGS) (ECF No. 29-1) (D.D.C. Aug. 19, 2015); Declaration
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Civ. No. 13-1363 (EGS) (ECF No. 22-1) (D.D.C. Aug. 10, 2015).
RECENT DESIGNATION RELATED CASES FOIA PLAINTIFF the September status conference, the Court asked undersigned counsel
was aware plaintiffs who had recently filed FOIA cases related some the other
Clinton-email-related cases. Counsel told the Court was not aware any such cases. Since
that time, counsel has become aware Freedom Watch U.S. Dep State, Civ. No. 15-1264
(RJL) (D.D.C. filed Aug. 2015), which the plaintiff asserted that the new case was related
two earlier cases the grounds that they involve[] common issues fact. See Notice
Designation Related Civil Cases, Freedom Watch (ECF No. 1-2) (asserting that the newly
filed case related Associated Press U.S. Dep State, Civ. No. 15-345 (RJL), and
While State anticipates the documents will stored electronically searchable format that date, there
still significant effort required search for potentially responsive documents and then review them for
responsiveness and exemptions before non-exempt portions responsive documents recently provided Ms.
Abedin, Ms. Mills, and Mr. Reines can begin produced.
-4-
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 37-4 Filed 09/18/15 Page
Case 1:15-cv-00123-RC Document
Filed 09/21/15 Page
Freedom Watch Nat Security Agency, al.,5 Civ. No. 14-1431 (RJL)). State has filed its
objection that related case designation. Defendant Objection Related Case Designation,
Freedom Watch (ECF No. (D.D.C. Sep. 18, 2015).
Date: September 18, 2015
Respectfully submitted,
BENJAMIN MIZER
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General
MARCIA BERMAN
Assistant Branch Director
/s/ Robert Prince
ROBERT PRINCE (D.C. Bar No. 975545)
United States Department Justice
Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, 20530
Tel: (202) 305-3654
robert.prince@usdoj.gov
Counsel for Defendant
State not defendant this case.
-5-
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 34-1 Filed 09/18/15 Page
Case 1:15-cv-00123-RC Document 37-4 Filed 09/21/15 Page
Prince, Robert (CIV)
From:
Sent:
To:
Cc:
Subject:
Ryan James 
Thursday, September 17, 2015 5:15
Prince, Robert (CIV)
Jeffrey Light
RE: 15-cv-123 Search Priorities Rob,
Yes, please apply that exclusion.
Ryan Sep 17, 2015 4:11 PM, Prince, Robert (CIV)  wrote:
Ryan,
Thank you for the list priorities. wanted clarify one thing. the first email you sent concerning the scope
search, you instructed State interpret the FOIA request EXCLUDE [p]ublic media articles, public news videos,
public news images, summaries any the preceding that may have been circulated within DOS. wanted
confirm that State should abide that instruction conducts searches for records responsive part (2) the
Narrowed FOIA Request. least with respect the documents recently provided Mr. Reines, this could make the
search process much more efficient. will let you know have any additional questions.
Best,
Rob
From: Ryan James [mailto:rsjameslaw@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2015 1:03
To: Prince, Robert (CIV)
Cc: Jeffrey Light
Subject: 15-cv-123 Search Priorities Rob,
Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 34-1 Filed 09/18/15 Page
Case 1:15-cv-00123-RC Document 37-4 Filed 09/21/15 Page
Pursuant the Courts Minute Order Sept. 11, attached please find Plaintiffs search priorities for records
responsive part (2) the Narrowed FOIA Request.
Please let know any aspect Plaintiffs priorities unclear. Please note that the attached list was based our current understanding how records are categorized and maintained State. Mr. Leopolds list reflects
States indication that additional time necessary for the non-state.gov emails processed, and allow for overall efficient search and review process.
Best,
Ryan