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Judicial Watch • JW v State hearing transcript 00687

JW v State hearing transcript 00687

JW v State hearing transcript 00687

Page 1: JW v State hearing transcript 00687

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Date Created:August 25, 2016

Date Uploaded to the Library:August 25, 2016

Tags:burke, olson, Transcript, honor, 00687, hearing, review, documents, September, Secretary, Appraisal, State Department, FBI, records, FOIA, department, Washington


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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
----------------------------X
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
Plaintiff
Civil Action No. 15-687-JEB
U.S. DEPT. STATE,
Defendant
-----------------------------X
Washington, D.C
Monday, August 22, 2016
10:00 A.M.
TRANSCRIPT STATUS CONFERENCE
BEFORE THE HONORABLE JAMES BOASBERG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
APPEARANCES:
For the Plaintiff:
Lauren Burke, Esq.
Chris Fedeli, Esq.
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street, SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
For the Defendant:
Lisa Ann Olson, Esq.
Marcia Berman, Esq.
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Room 7300
Washington, 20530
(202) 514-5633
Court Reporter:
Lisa Walker Griffith, RPR
U.S. District Courthouse
Room 6507
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 354-3247
THE DEPUTY CLERK:
Judicial Watch Inc. versus Department State.
This civil action 15-687.
Would the parties please approach the podium and
identify yourselves for the record.
MS. OLSON:
States.
State Department.
Lisa Olson representing the United
With Marcia Berman and Laura Berlin from the
Justice well.
Marcia Berman from the Department
THE COURT:
Okay.
Good morning all you.
MS. BURKE:
Good morning, Your Honor.
Lauren
Burke representing the plaintiff, Judicial Watch.
With
todays cocounsel Chris Fedeli well the President Judicial Watch, Thomas Fitton.
THE COURT:
Good morning all you.
All right.
Let just pull the docket.
Your last status report August 12th, you
claimed you would have other information for today. happy hear what that is, Ms. Olson.
MS. OLSON:
Thank you.
May please the Court, August 5th, the
FBI had turned over the materials that were referenced
that status report.
State has taken steps initiate the appraisal process. ingesting the documents into document management
And since then, the Department
system hoping finish that the end this week.
And developing tools conduct the
appraisal and facilitate multi-tiered review that
characterizes the appraisal process.
the State Department will separate the records from the non
records for those documents that are determined non
records, they will reviewed again within the State
Department.
validate that appraisal.
That people within
Then the National Archives will invited
THE COURT:
When you say records, explain
what you mean records versus non records.
MS. OLSON:
The federal records opposed
private personal information.
these documents suggest that there going certain
volume private and personal information.
And our initial review
THE COURT:
Okay.
MS. OLSON:
So, the appraisal, once
completed, the documents will need reviewed for
possible exemptions and for any need have inter-agency intra-agency consultation referrals based
confidential trade secrets commercial information. are aiming complete the appraisal the
first week October.
Weve presented offer the
plaintiff with schedule.
appraisal the first week October determine what would complete the
are agency records and what are duplicative what has
already been produced.
being major technical difficulties with the ingestion
other I.T. issues.
THE COURT:
MS. OLSON: documents.
Let interrupt you for one second.
How many records are were talking about?
This offer premised there
Were talking about tens thousands
And--
THE COURT:
Can you give any more specific
MS. OLSON: can tell you disk one, which
number?
the disk that the plaintiff has asked prioritize and
which were going prioritize anyway, there are
approximately 14,900 documents.
THE COURT:
Consisting of, can you give page
MS. OLSON: not position give you
number?
page number, but would more than the number
documents, assume.
THE COURT:
How many disks were there beyond disk
MS. OLSON:
There were seven total, six more.
THE COURT:
Can you tell generally that you
one?
would expect the number documents each disk
roughly equivalent?
MS. OLSON: know there are 10s thousands
total, and that doesnt include disk five which contains
the 55,000 documents.
thousands.
October, which extraordinarily ambitious given the
volume documents were dealing with and the competing
demands State. beyond disk five there are 10s
So, would complete this appraisal early
THE COURT:
The appraisal going just
disk one all disks?
MS. OLSON:
That will all the disks.
And
makes more sense complete the appraisal everything
before production commences, although will doing
rolling review during the appraisal once gather what are
deemed records. would propose post, once the appraisal
complete will start produce documents.
post documents every week beginning October 14th, and then
the 21st and 28th and November
would propose doing non weekly basis because there
are lot huge drain resources
weekly basis.
And would
And then after that
This just more volatile process. during the time were appraising, will
reviewing the documents.
Once the entire appraisal
done, will better position estimate how much
time would take complete production.
But will
begin producing documents starting October 14th the
extent that are responsive records.
THE COURT:
Can you give any indication
MS. OLSON:
Were not position give page
volume?
numbers just because, far the production, dont
know how many will personal versus agency records.
many will actually responsive.
duplicative the 55,000.
How
How many will
And the volume records that
would need sent other agencies bureaus for
consultation.
the weekly productions are indicia our good faith.
State trying respond Judicial Watchs cant commit page number.
But
express interest getting some documents before the
election and our understanding that there public
interest these documents.
THE COURT:
How about came back here the
end your appraisal period and you could give better
sense then the volume documents you expect
release.
beginning October 14th, well maybe that means one document the 14th two the 21st, opposed hundreds. other words, say were going post them came back say October 11th, which the
first business day after the first week October, would
you able give better sense the volume you
expect produce the succeeding few weeks?
MS. OLSON:
Yes, would.
That would ideal
because would allow complete the appraisal and
have sense the scale what involved here the
production process.
relief the State Department.
proceed think with maximum efficiency. would think would enormous
Okay. would allow them
THE COURT:
Thank you.
Let hear from Ms. Burke about that proposal.
MS. OLSON:
Thank you, Your Honor.
MS. BURKE:
Thank you, Your Honor. did speak with counsel last week.
They had
proposed what Ms. Olson just laid out.
clients position that the Department State has been
possession specifically disk one for four weeks already.
Theyre seeking now additional six weeks.
six weeks simply determine what record and what
isnt record.
And total mean, the question would what have they been
doing for the past four weeks.
And our hesitation
agreeing that that then, you pointed out, were
sitting the middle October still knowing maybe there only one record being produced.
actual commitment number that would reviewed
weekly and then produced, those records that are found
There has been non exempt responsive.
THE COURT:
Can you tell why disk one
particular interest more important you what that you believe different?
MS. BURKE:
Absolutely. said, disk one and
disk two have been identified Department State
having, they received those two disks from the FBI, July
21.
attachments that were sent directly from Former
Disk one contains, and quote:
E-mails and
Secretary Clinton e-mails that sent from the
former secretary point time e-mail chain, and
were not included the materials provided State
Department Former Secretary Clinton December 2014.
Judicial Watchs request specifically all
former Secretary Clintons e-mails sent from
Secretary Clinton.
and the Department Justice other cases has identified
this case FOIA request, very broad, that encompasses number other cases. most likely responsive documents.
And both the Department State
This disk one clearly identified
Disk two itself has been the only information
have identified classified information.
Certainly
wouldnt expecting receive classified information. dont know how many documents are that disk.
would seem that would not need take weeks
But
appraise that they were agency records.
THE COURT: your focus disk one, then maybe
what you are preferring more expedited schedule than
Ms. Olson proposes, but just disk one.
them just focus this and leave the others until
later, maybe can figure out way that.
make sense?
MS. BURKE:
That does make sense.
proposed Ms. Olson Friday. you want
Does that
That what
Disk one Judicial
Watchs priority given the identification what
there.
why this week appraisal schedule before there even
review that begins, just doesnt seem reasonable
logical Judicial Watch.
Were not sure about the others.
And again,
But what would seeking immediate
review those documents, beginning immediately with
rolling production, would propose every two weeks
that the disk itself being appraised and, said, efficient effort that would like see good faith the Department State collaborated effort, that would appraise, determine record, process,
review, produce, rather than were going appraise for
weeks, take two weeks come with schedule, and then maybe six months, well run through the system and
then well produce. that point, were looking
substantive production maybe 2017.
THE COURT:
Okay.
Thank you.
Let speak Ms. Olson again. Ms. Olson, Judicial Watch says, for now
dont care about those other disks; want you focus
disk one.
instead seven, that would trust you would able more quickly than the first week October. now you only have one disk appraise
MS. OLSON:
Actually cannot.
The proposal
made start productions mid October based plan begin the records appraisal with disk one and begin FOIA
reviews rolling basis documents are identified
records.
There are separate teams doing the appraisal
versus the review.
different expertise than the people who the FOIA review. soon complete the appraisal disk one, the
documents disk one, soon records are identified,
those are turned over the FOIA review people.
The appraisal done people with
THE COURT:
Hold on.
But you say that the
first week October you could appraisal all
disks.
MS. OLSON:
Thats right.
THE COURT:
But theyre saying all want appraisal one disk, why does that not take less time?
MS. OLSON:
Because completing the appraisal
all disks does not preclude the possibility completing
the appraisal just one and beginning the review process disk one.
complete, soon any documents are identified, theyre
turned over FOIA review people. soon the appraisal disk one
THE COURT:
But were going meet after the
appraisal process.
appraisal, why cant move that and meet after
talked about coming back for status conference October
11th after the appraisal seven disks.
saying, lets have appraisal just one disk and come back
earlier, then can talk about the review and the
production that point. why cant we, were talking just
MS. OLSON:
What are now think State more comfortable
that everything will accurately and consistently done has the opportunity complete the entire appraisal
process. the disk one documents produce anything before
October 14th.
able produce under any circumstances told.
And doesnt foresee completing enough review
That the absolute earliest would
THE COURT: think came back lets say month, around September 22, and give you month
complete the appraisal process disk one only, you would
come back September and say, weve completed it, here where weve got and now can talk about production
schedule.
MS. OLSON: can that, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Ms. Burke.
Thank you, Ms. Olson.
MS. OLSON:
Thank you.
THE COURT:
Ms. Burke, now weve moved that
substantially and they just disk one.
about that?
MS. BURKE:
How you feel feel very good about that, Your
Honor. think the key that Judicial Watch concerned
about that they will doing and appraisal thought heard Ms. Olson say, theyre doing the appraisal,
theyre starting the review process.
like see work collaboration, that
expedited and efficient process.
appraised theyre passed team, being reviewed
when come back September 22nd, theyre position say reviewed number documents because weve been
doing for the last month through appraisal process.
were prepared produce number month, two
weeks, and something like that. see.
Thats what would things are being
And
Thats what would like
THE COURT:
Thank you.
Ms. Olson, one last discussion with you. other words, what would order that
State Department conduct appraisal disk one only,
which will completed our status September 22nd.
And then the 22nd, well talk about the state the
review and the state production.
But agree with Ms. Burke, and sounds like
that consistent with what youre talking about that, you complete appraisal, youll pass the review
team reviewing. other words, what she concerned about,
think legitimate concern, that you are not going wait until September begin the review.
begin the review the appraisal proceeds.
MS. OLSON:
Thats right.
Youll
Not only are not
going wait until September begin the review, were
going continue appraising the other disks during that
time period.
THE COURT:
Although thats not requirement
that ordering you now.
Again, more efficient
for you doing during this period, fine, but
would come back and talk about that subsequently.
MS. OLSON:
Thank you, Your Honor.
THE COURT: here the order that
proposing enter, which that State Department will
commence the appraisal disk one only, the appraisal
process completed September 22nd; which time,
well have status conference.
momentarily.
ongoing.
status the review and production schedule.
And well pick time
That the review the documents will
And that September 22, well talk about the
All right. glad have everybody board.
That sounds like reasonable and appropriate way
proceed.
All right.
Ms. Burke, 10:30 the 22nd convenient time
for you?
This September.
MS. BURKE:
Yes, Your Honor.
10:30 September
THE COURT:
Ms. Olson, that convenient for
22nd.
Lets talk about time.
your team?
MS. OLSON:
Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT:
Okay.
memorializing what just said.
appreciate it.
issues. work diligently, collaboratively and civilly among each
other try resolve them.
next month.
Ill issue order
Thank you all much. know there lot attention these
But appreciate the fact that you folks continue thanks much.
(Whereupon, 10:22 a.m., the hearing
concluded.)
See you
CERTIFICATE REPORTER Lisa Walker Griffith, certify that the
foregoing correct transcript from the record
proceedings the above-entitled matter.
______________________________________
Lisa Walker Griffith, RPR
__________________
Date