FEBRUARY 09, 2016
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) letter to U.S. Department of State Principal Deputy Legal Adviser Marry McLeod concerning the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff’s use of “private” email:
The FBI letter is a significant development. The FBI confirms for the first time that Mrs. Clinton’s use of a “private” email server is a matter for law enforcement. Why did it take nearly a week for the Obama Justice Department to file this letter with the court? There’s now no getting around it: Hillary Clinton’s email use could have serious criminal consequences for her and other current and former administration officials.
The FBI letter reads as follows:
Dear Ms. McLeod:
I am writing to update my September 21, 2015, response to your letter dated September 2, 2015, regarding Judicial Watch v. Department of State, 13-cv-1363 (D.D.C.), and your request for information pursuant to the Court’s Order of August 20, 2015. At that time, I informed you that the FBI could neither confirm nor deny the existence of any on-going investigation. Since that time, in public statements and testimony, the Bureau has acknowledged generally that it is working on matters related to former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server. The FBI has not, however, publically acknowledged the specific focus, scope or potential targets of any such proceedings. Thus, while the FBI’s response to you has changed to some degree due to these intervening events, we remain unable to provide the requested information without adversely affecting on-going law enforcement efforts.
The letter was produced in response to a court order in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit before U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan. The lawsuit concerns the “special government employee” status of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
Relying upon the State Department’s representation that the agency conducted a search of Hillary Clinton’s offices, Judicial Watch agreed to dismiss its lawsuit on March 14, 2014. Judge Emmet Sullivan reopened the lawsuit on June 19, 2015, in response to revelations about Clinton’s separate email system.