Court Ordered State Department to Dialogue with FBI about Records on Hillary Clinton’s Server
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced that Judge Emmet G. Sullivan today ordered the State Department to begin an effort to coordinate with the FBI in a search for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s server and thumb drives now in possession of the FBI. The State Department conceded to the court that it has an affirmative obligation to produce records from the devices currently in the custody of the FBI.
The court gave a written order for the State Department to produce a report to the court on its progress by September 20. A hearing was set for October 1, 2015. The court also ordered:
For the reasons stated by the Court at the August 20, 2015 status hearing, and as agreed to by Defendant’s counsel, the State Department is hereby ordered to request that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) inform it about any information recovered from Mrs. Clinton’s server and the related thumb drive that is: (a) potentially relevant to the FOIA request at issue in this case; and (b) not already in the State Department’s possession. The State Department shall file a status report, no later than Monday, September 21, 2015 at 12:00 p.m., informing the Court of the following: (1) the process agreed upon between the FBI and the State Department for the sharing of information relevant to this lawsuit; (2) the status of the Inspector General of the State Department’s report regarding Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private server; and (3) a timetable for the completion of any ongoing searches related to this lawsuit. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on August 20, 2015. (lcegs4)
“The State Department today admitted that it had not made any effort to coordinate with the FBI in the obvious task of asking for information responsive to inquiries by the court and Judicial Watch,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Today’s court hearing highlights the blatant disregard for federal records laws.” “The Court observed, ‘We wouldn’t be here today if the employee [former Secretary Clinton] had followed government policy,’ and I could not agree more.”
The State Department asserted in its most recent filing with the court that it had never issued personal computing devices to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and possibly had destroyed the Blackberrys of her aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills:
[The State Department] does not believe that any personal computing device was issued by the Department to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has not located any such device at the Department. [The State Department] believes that Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin were each issued BlackBerry devices. [The State Department] has not located any such device at the Department … Because the devices issued to Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin would have been outdated models, in accordance with standard operating procedures those devices would have been destroyed or excessed.
The State Department confirmed that Clinton “did not use a state.gov account.”
The developments come in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about Hillary Clinton’s email records.