JW v State Plf’s Motion to Unseal Videotapes 01363
Number of Pages:6
Date Created:December 5, 2016
Date Uploaded to the Library:December 05, 2016
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Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 153 Filed 12/05/16 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., Plaintiff, U.S. DEPARTMENT STATE, Defendant. Civil Action No. 13-cv-1363 (EGS) PLAINTIFF MOTION UNSEAL AUDIOVISUAL RECORDINGS ALL DEPOSITIONS Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc., counsel, respectfully moves unseal the audiovisual recordings all depositions taken this case. Ms. Abedin, Mr. Bentel, Ms. Mills, and Mr. Pagliano oppose this motion. Even though the State Department previously took position the motion seal the recordings, the State Department also opposes this motion. grounds therefor, Plaintiff states follows: STATEMENT POINTS AND AUTHORITIES Introduction. This case all about the public right know. Transcript February 24, 2016 Hearing Concerning Plaintiff Motion for Discovery. The authorized depositions relate former Secretary State Hillary Clintons email practices during her tenure the State Department. May 26, 2016 Minute Order Granting Motion Seal. addition, the Court has stated, The public has right know details related the creation, purpose and use the clintonemail.com system. Id. Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 153 Filed 12/05/16 Page Because the public has right know, the audiovisual recordings the depositions this case must unsealed. The sole reason for sealing the recordings the first place was avoid their misuse during the 2016 campaign season. Now that the election over that reason longer exists. II. Background. Prior her deposition, Ms. Mills moved for the audiovisual recording her deposition sealed. support her motion, Ms. Mills argued: That refusal raises serious concern that Judicial Watch plans use the recording Ms. Mills deposition, and exploit her image and words, part partisan attack against Secretary Clinton and her presidential campaign. Mills Motion (ECF No. 79) (emphasis added); Since Secretary Clinton announced her candidacy for the presidency Id. counsel for Ms. Mills, seek the Court intervention prevent Judicial Watch from using the audiovisual recording her deposition for similar, partisan purposes. Id. (emphasis added); [W]e have good cause believe the audiovisual recording Ms. Mills deposition could used attacks against Secretary Clinton and her presidential campaign, either Judicial Watch some other entity. Id. (emphasis added); Providing this like treatment will ensure that Ms. Mills, private citizen, does not have her image and voice exploited partisan groups seeking use these judicial proceedings this campaign season further their own political agendas. Mills Reply (ECF No. 82) (emphasis added); and Ms. Mills, non-party this case, has very real concern that her privacy will invaded and her image exploited for political gain those seeking some advantage this contentious campaign season. Id. (emphasis added). that time, the State Department took position. Plaintiff opposed the motion, maintaining that Ms. Mills concerns were not well founded and demonstrating the substantial public interest and demand for timely information about Secretary Clinton email practices. Subsequently, the -2- Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 153 Filed 12/05/16 Page Court granted Ms. Mills motion and, sua sponte, sealed the audiovisual recordings all depositions until further notice. May 26, 2016 Minute Order Granting Motion Seal. July 17, 2016, coalition news media organizations moved intervene seek reconsideration the Court motion seal the audiovisual recordings. See Coalition Mot. (ECF No. 111.) Plaintiff did not take position the coalition attempt unseal the recordings. Ms. Mills and Mr. Pagliano opposed the coalition motion. Id. The State Department also opposed the unsealing the recordings because the reasons that amply justified the Court May order remain[ed] unchanged. Def Response (ECF No. 118) The Coalition motion still pending. III. Argument. The U.S. Court Appeals for the District Columbia Circuit has held: [T]he existence the common law right inspect and copy judicial records indisputable. This right serves the important function ensuring the integrity judicial proceedings particular and the law enforcement process more generally. And although the right was first recognized time when records were documentary nature, now settled that the right extends records which are not written form, such audio and video tapes. Application National Broadcasting Company, 653 F.2d 609, 612 (D.C. Cir. 1981). Plaintiff not-for-profit educational organization that seeks promote transparency, accountability, and integrity government and fidelity the rule law. argued originally, Plaintiff seeks make the recordings public because the substantial interest Secretary Clinton email practices. Even though the election over, the news media and the public continue monitor and follow the proceedings this case. See e.g., Josh Gerstein, Clinton fights demand for more information emails, Politico (November 21, 2016, available -3- Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 153 Filed 12/05/16 Page http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2016/11/hillary-clinton-emails-231732). The release the recordings will not only allow the public better understand Secretary Clinton email practices, will also provide the public with more complete picture the discovery taken this case. Under Rule 26(c) the Federal Rules Civil Procedure, court may issue protective order upon showing good cause. Burgess Town Wallingford, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135781, *35 (D. Conn. Sept. 21, 2012). The good cause standard requires that the movant identify specific prejudice oppression that will caused disclosure. Id. addition, the movant fails present concrete reasons justifying protective order, the discovery materials question will not receive judicial protection and may remain open public inspection. Id. Although Plaintiff disputed whether Ms. Mills showed good cause, the Court found she had. That good cause the possibility that the recordings could exploited for political gain during the contentious campaign season now moot. The reason for the protective order longer exists. significant public interest remains the recordings. the coalition news media organizations previously stated: The matter before this Court speaks directly the actions government officials the performance their duties. All the individuals whom Judicial Watch has deposed date, well those whom may depose the future, are current former government officials. Further, under this Court May Order, the scope their testimony this case limited matters relating the performance their official duties. The use nongovernmental email account the former Secretary State, and the actions other State Department officials and employees who themselves used, were aware of, assisted the establishment that nongovernmental email system, are matters legitimate interest the public. -4- Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 153 Filed 12/05/16 Page Coalition Mem. (ECF No. 111-1) The coalition also described how access cold transcripts, alone, deprives the public critical context and other information vital understanding the deponents testimony and how only the release the entirety the video the deposition[s] will provide the public with the fullest context and most robust understanding the testimony. Id. 10-12. IV. Conclusion. Plaintiff respectfully requests the Court unseal the audiovisual recordings all depositions this case. Dated: December 2016 Respectfully submitted, /s/ Michael Bekesha Michael Bekesha D.C. Bar No. 995749 JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. 425 Third Street S.W., Suite 800 Washington, 20024 (202) 646-5172 Counsel for Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. -5- Case 1:13-cv-01363-EGS Document 153-1 Filed 12/05/16 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., Plaintiff, U.S. DEPARTMENT STATE, Defendant. Civil Action No. 13-cv-1363 (EGS) [PROPOSED] ORDER Upon consideration Plaintiff Motion Unseal Audiovisual Recordings All Depositions and the entire record herein, hereby ORDERED that: Plaintiff motion GRANTED. ORDERED. DATE: The Hon. Emmet Sullivan, U.S.D.J.