Skip to content

Get Judicial Watch Updates!

DONATE

Judicial Watch • JW v State Benghazi Talking Points Transcript 01242

JW v State Benghazi Talking Points Transcript 01242

JW v State Benghazi Talking Points Transcript 01242

Page 1: JW v State Benghazi Talking Points Transcript 01242

Category:

Number of Pages:42

Date Created:October 16, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:October 16, 2018

Tags:cotca, Prince, points, honor, talking, Transcript, 01242, Clintons, Lois Lerner, cheryl, Susan Rice, Sullivan, search, Mills, Emails, Benghazi, Secretary, Hillary Clinton, clinton, State Department, FBI, department, FOIA, IRS, Judge


File Scanned for Malware

Donate now to keep these documents public!


See Generated Text   ∨

Autogenerated text from PDF

THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., No. 1:14-cv-01242
Plaintiff,
Washington, D.C.
Friday, October 12, 2018
10:00 a.m.
U.S. DEPARTMENT STATE,
Defendant.
TRANSCRIPT STATUS HEARING
HELD BEFORE THE HONORABLE ROYCE LAMBERTH
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
APPEARANCES:
For the Plaintiff:
Ramona Cotca, Esq.
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
Thomas Fitton, Corporate Designee
For the Defendant:
Robert Prince, Esq.
Elizabeth Shapiro, Esq.
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE
Civil Division
Court Reporter:
Timothy Miller, RPR, CRR, NJ-CCR
Official Court Reporter
U.S. Courthouse, Room 6722
Proceedings recorded machine shorthand; transcript produced computer-aided transcription.
THE DEPUTY CLERK:
Your Honor, have Civil
Action 14-1242, Judicial Watch, Inc. the U.S. State.
Department
Ill ask that counsel please approach the lectern;
identify yourself and those your respective tables,
starting with the plaintiff.
MS. COTCA:
Sure.
Thank you.
Good morning, Your Honor.
Ramona Cotca for Judicial Watch and with Tom Fitton
representing Judicial Watch corporate designee.
MR.
PRINCE:
Good morning, Your Honor. names
Robert Prince from the Department Justice representing
the Department State.
Department Justice Attorney Elizabeth Shapiro.
THE COURT:
With counsel table
Okay.
All right. have been
awaiting discovery other cases progress and havent
tried take the lead myself, but
when need get this case concluded and wanted see
what have looked this case and then let you all each comment what can wind this case up.
think the time has come
can get this case concluded. will state how
The case started with motion for summary
judgment here and which denied and allowed limited
discovery because was clear that the time that
ruled initially, that false statements were made
career State Department officials and became more clear
through discovery that the information that was provided
was clearly false regarding the adequacy the search and
this what now know turned out the Secretarys
email system.
inquiry there was into why these career officials the
State Department would have filed false affidavits with me. dont know the details why the Justice Department
lawyers did not know false affidavits were being filed with dont know the details what kind
me, but was very relieved that did not accept them and
that
allowed limited discovery into what had happened.
Discoverys been ongoing this and other cases
since that time and the Justice Department came back, then,
and wanted renew their motion for summary judgment
without any explanation what had occurred the first
place, which Ive never heard never coming back and
explaining that youd provided false information the
Court trying justify what had happened before and just
think you could start all over.
Department allowing you file new summary judgment
motion and thinking you could just start fresh. didnt accommodate the have been awaiting the really was awaiting
most for the report from the Department Justice
Inspector General.
report when got and was actually dumbfounded when did print out and read that 500-page
found out, reading that report, that Cheryl Mills had
been given immunity because had earlier case
called Alexander
Mills had committed perjury and lied under oath
published opinion had issued Judicial Watch case
where
shocked find out she had been given immunity the
Justice Department the Hillary Clinton email case.
did not know that until read the report and learned
FBI, had myself found that Cheryl
found her unworthy belief, and was quite
that and that she had accompanied the Secretary her
interview. did read the 2017 memo that the Department
filed that she had been deposed connection with these
email requests.
the what that the plaintiffs think needs
done.
and what discovery remains concluded and where those
cases are.
think needs done get this case posture where could wind this case.
that relate the same subject matter, but and
this not wide-ranging case itself, but the overall
subject the search certainly impacted what happened this case.
explanation for what discovery youre still seeking here and
And guess what need start with dont know the current status the other cases Ill start with the plaintiffs what they
This just one many cases
know let start with the plaintiffs
how can resolve getting this case resolved.
MS. COTCA:
Yes.
Okay. the focus
Thank you, Your Honor.
and pursuant the Courts
order, Judicial Watch had tried careful its
discovery request and proposals not overlap with the
discovery that Judicial Watch, fact, was seeking the
case that still pending front Judge Sullivan,
13-
THE COURT:
And whats the status that one now?
MS. COTCA: pending. believe theres
hearing scheduled for next month.
There motion pending compel Secretary Clinton provide more sufficient
answers,
were served her, but with respect depositions
Cheryl Mills and the other officials that are the
proposal, that has been completed. back bench, but believe thats the posture
this point. believe, her the interrogatories that can double-check when
And with respect even individual Cheryl
Mills,
for example, our discovery proposal; however,
the subject matter and the questions that wed asking
Cheryl Mills fact, tried ask Cheryl Mills
the other case, but the State Department well the
attorney for Cheryl Mills objected and they did not she
did not respond questions were seeking with respect
the collection Secretary Clintons emails;
how did they
respond;
requests, because one can reasonably presume that when
Secretary Clinton was preparing for her hearing testifying
before Congress and when the Accountability Review Board was
doing the investigation into what happened with the attacks Benghazi, that there were document requests and Cheryl
Millss emails would have been issue, but also, certainly
Secretary Clintons emails would have come during that
and FOIA requests well the Benghazi
process, and that was when and the reason thats
important because the timing that, thats when
Secretary Clinton was still the Secretary the State
Department and the State Department officials would have
gathered the knowledge that they would have with respect
answering those particular requests, but also, future
requests such our request here this case with respect talking points that were provided then-Ambassador
U.S. Ambassador the U.N., Susan Rice. with respect overlap, have tried
very careful there isnt overlap the discovery that
has occurred and what are seeking here.
generally speaking, there are two main, lets say, topics
that were looking issues that were seeking here.
One evidence that would bad faith the State
Department responding this specific request, and those
And more
would the document requests believe there are
about four them that weve proposed well the
depositions that requested; and then the other would
remedies potential remedies because, this point, believe the case thats pending before Judge Boasberg and dont have the case number for you that, but
that was where
THE COURT: was the papers.
MS. COTCA:
Yes. know.
And believe the FBI has
the State Department has completed production all records
that the FBI have
systems that they had from the server.
that Secretary Clinton did not return,
numbers somewhere around 5,000 out 30-some-thousand that
were only recovered the FBI.
know not have complete set Secretary Clintons
emails.
seeking
has recovered from the
any backup
And the emails believe the this point, today, the remedy portion the discovery that were
THE COURT: not sure understand that.
MS. COTCA: part the remedy that were
asking for mean, because know that dont have all Secretary Clintons emails with respect her work
the State Department, what avenue were looking
THE COURT:
The FBI got another 5,000 that were
not turned over State, then?
MS. COTCA:
No, no, no.
THE COURT:
What
MS. COTCA:
When the FBI did its investigation and
turned over the records the State Department, believe was only able recover somewhere close 5,000 the
30-some-thousand that Secretary Clinton did not turn over
and deleted.
THE COURT:
Oh.
MS. COTCA: believe thats thats the
information have and believe thats whats front
Judge Boasberg. knowing that dont have complete set
Secretary Clintons emails, one avenue that were
approaching this case is, how get complete record her records from the time that she was the State
Department?
think this fairly very reasonable and basic
request from the State Department which the State Department
has refused give list and were asking this from
the State from Secretary Clinton list the
custodians who she corresponded with know where else look.
emails that can gather them and theres complete
set?
And one way and weve asked and she doesnt have them, where else are her those are the two broad spectrums what were
seeking this case, generally, but believe that and happy over each deponent the document requests, the Court has any
THE COURT:
Where are those set forth?
MS. COTCA:
These are our revised discovery
THE COURT:
Which
MS. COTCA:
THE COURT:
MS. COTCA:
ECF 50.
THE COURT:
Right.
material.
No. 50?
Correct.
Okay.
And then their 51,
did you you did not file reply their 51; right?
MS. COTCA: did not.
THE COURT:
Okay. your you can you help with
their arguments there.
MS. COTCA:
Well, what wed nothing
this case mean,
Judge Sullivans case because believe the State
Departments main argument theres all this discovery
that has happened, this case.
sought the Judge
Judge Sullivan, and then what Your Honor was stating
earlier, time may have passed.
discovery done, but the facts this case dont change.
the discovery that has occurred theres nothing that needs done
Nothing that were seeking this case was the case thats pending before
There may have been other
The facts dont change that back November and September 2014, the State Department informed Judicial Watch
this case that its search has been complete and,
time, know now the State Department that
THE COURT:
And thats career State Department
MS. COTCA:
Correct.
THE COURT:
Hackett.
MS. COTCA:
Correct.
THE COURT:
Well, thats the affidavit relied
employee. have back and look.
on,
guess.
MS. COTCA:
Yes.
THE COURT:
Right.
MS. COTCA: would whichever one was
produced.
Correct.
THE COURT:
Yeah.
MS. COTCA:
And know that time, the State
Department was conversations with Secretary Clinton for
delivery her emails the State Department, and the date
that December 4th the same day when the State
Department received those emails and Judicial Watch was
conversations with the State Department the time with
respect the posture and said, Well, you know, the fact
that where are Secretary Clintons emails raises
questions Judicial Watch. requested search
declaration, and thats the point when the State
Department said, Oh, need more time because have some
more emails search; however, never did they inform that Judicial Watch; never did they inform that the Court. those facts dont change, and none this has been
explored any the discovery that aware of, and
participated the discovery that was taken front
Judge Sullivan.
THE COURT:
still whether the
emails employees who were corresponding who had their
own emails not the server.
State and then searched not?
MS. COTCA:
Now, did the part the issue
whether there was search the
Were those ever retrieved believe that those have been
retrieved State.
They were requested the State
Department.
Reines, Huma Abedin and Jacob Sullivan.
And believe was Cheryl Mills, Philippe
THE COURT:
Okay.
MS. COTCA:
But weve asked them search those
and far this case, the State Department has
not today, are not aware them searching them producing those part the records.
THE COURT:
still seeking?
Okay.
But thats part what youre
MS. COTCA:
Correct.
And think that would that would required for the State Department
meet its obligations under FOIA.
THE COURT:
Right.
Now, how think
understand your position, then.
Prince. let hear from Mr.
MS. COTCA:
Okay.
THE COURT:
Did you want consult Mr. Fitton
first before
Thank you. over your other questions before
MS. COTCA:
No.
THE COURT:
Okay.
MR.
First all, before
PRINCE:
Mr.
Prince?
Thank you, Your Honor.
really get into the
Governments argument, there were serious misrepresentations
that were just made you.
Judicial Watch make those searches before Judicial Watch
ever asked.
was filed because State didnt have them when the motion for
summary judgment was filed.
got records from Mr. brief extension believe was one week, but might
have been two that search, and did, and then
that included
included the declaration attached the motion for
summary judgment.
Judicial State offered
This was after the motion for summary judgment did get some records.
Sullivan and Ms. Mills and asked for
that description that search
The rest came in, believe, August
that year while briefing was still going on.
contacted Ms. Cotca and offered that search, but
would need stay the briefing that could get the
search done and could briefing what the actual
facts were.
that the last filing made.
second page, and that was long footnote because had
just learned that they were expanding their discovery
request.
That was declined.
And made point noting
Its the footnote the
And that footnote was made the last minute
just address those expansions, but absolutely not
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
That was the stay?
PRINCE:
What was that? the stay?
PRINCE: January 2017.
THE COURT:
MR.
No, sorry, the filing made
Our
Oh, oh, oh.
PRINCE:
ECF 51.
And the point that
offered that and wanted stay that that
when briefing was done,
the case.
herself telephone conversation.
then.
hasnt been any real opportunity make have discussions
because the case has, essentially, been facto stayed. could the current state
That offer was declined vociferously Ms. Cotca
State made that offer
Were certainly ready discuss now, but there
THE COURT:
MR. PRINCE:
Right.
The other thing Your Honor,
December November 2014, had discussions with Ms.
Cotca about resolving this case hopefully without further
adjudication. agreed provide search draft search
declaration.
the people working this case not talking about other
people State who didnt know this FOIA request existed had discussions and then contacted mid-January
which when had figured out what was going on.
was very complicated issue.
55,000 pages.
Judicial Watch this wasnt something they brought
and said needed search emails.
whose emails they were, but never reveal what searches
were doing the course doing searches unless were
actually negotiating,
until after did draft search declaration.
perfectly normal for any agency conduct its searches
without necessarily filling everyone the searches its
conducted. reviewed and then they were reviewed, and this was
States own initiative because State was making good-faith
basis provide the responsive documents. provided Vaughn index; then provided soon learned the Clinton emails,
This
And there are also
Thats many Bankers Boxes. approached
Now, didnt say
and negotiating wasnt going occur
Its said they were emails and that they needed
And then March when the news broke, there were
several motions made this case and status reports seeking
relief,
that State has always done this its own.
hiding anything.
seems want do.
its true say misled either Judicial Watch the
Court. State were not the ones who knew about this.
and noted then and have noted continually since wasnt actually did the search, did it. everyone
And dont think
The people involved this case both here and was
other people who were dealing with search that
that the people conducting this FOIA search thought was
done.
yet,
own
There was reason further investigation and, soon the information was made available its
THE COURT: dont understand that.
The State
Department told that had produced all the records when moved for summary judgment and you filed that motion.
That was not true when that motion was filed.
MR.
PRINCE:
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE: that time, had produced all -It was not true.
Yes, was well, Your Honor,
might that our search could found inadequate,
but that declaration was absolutely true.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE: was not true. was lie. was not lie, Your Honor.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
What thats doublespeak.
No, its not.
Your Honor, take
this extremely seriously.
extensively. mentioned that Sullivan, Mills and that Sullivan and
Mills had provided emails and that they had said they might
provide more and that Abedin might provide more.
the declaration, Your Honor.
and heres what dont know about, but since dont have
That affidavit was vetted mentioned that the emails came after. says,
Thats
Heres what did
them, were moving for summary judgment.
Now, its been made clear rulings various
courts that, basically, the courts are going expect
search items that come afterward this instance, and
thats understandable, but the time, that was not all
clear, you know?
not States possession not need searched. this case, the State actually searched things that
were not their possession the time the FOIA search,
two different batches, and notified the Court and Judicial
Watch that there were more the types emails they had
already searched that could coming and,
informed Judicial Watch when they did come and offered
search them, but the time, State searched everything
its possession and thats what the affidavit says,
was attempt
Theres strong precedent saying that items
And fact,
and there
THE COURT:
And thats because the Secretary was
doing this private server?
possession?
MR.
THE COURT:
PRINCE: wasnt States -So youre playing the same word game
she played?
MR.
PRINCE:
Absolutely not, Your Honor. not
playing that.
summary judgment, the 55,000 pages emails had been
The motion the time the motion for
searched.
done before became public that Clinton had used email
server.
Judicial Watch filed,
conference, bringing this the Courts attention, and
thats why
Your Honor thinks that the searches that were done the
motion for summary judgment were inadequate, but being wrong
about the search being adequate does not make false
affidavit.
the Government learns are not adequate
Thats true.
They were searched.
The search was
That search was done and was finished before
then, motion for status
think theres some confusion. understand
Theres tons affidavits which, unfortunately,
THE COURT: youre saying the 55,000 were
searched before the Hackett affidavit?
MR.
PRINCE:
Thats absolutely true, Your Honor,
and thats the Hackett affidavit.
THE COURT:
Ill have back and look that.
MR.
PRINCE:
Okay.
Your Honor, youd like,
like can make filing this matter because its
extremely important
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
No,
Ill back and look it.
Okay.
The other the point you mentioned that you think the Government needs
search the Mills, Abedin and Sullivan
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
Right. documents that theyve provided.
Weve offered it, and that offer basically still
stands. another summary judgment motion.
confer and, maybe, this time, get some answers what
that want searched,
search this point.
done December 17th, say. never actually said wanted just move said wanted
and were happy that actually think could have that
Okay?
But addition that, think there had been
additional searches that are very relevant this case that think its important for Your Honor know about, and
theres been opportunity provide them until now.
This has all happened since our last filing.
THE COURT:
MR.
15-692.
case.
PRINCE:
What are those?
Okay.
First all, there case, was brought Judicial Watch. was front Judge Mehta. handled that
That case asked for
all emails from Secretary Clinton that were about the
Benghazi attacks.
search that was broader topic.
was narrower that was only looking for emails
from Clinton, whereas this search scope everything the
office the Secretary.
settled.
provided State the FBI was searched, and that includes
both sets provided, you know? one sense, was broader than this
Okay? another sense,
That search that that, the 55,000 were searched; everything
There was set provided
earlier and then set that was found right before the
election 2016, and those were searched and documents were
produced and the parties settled that case.
citing that evidence anything except that their
possession are all Clinton emails about the talking points.
And for whether can rely
THE COURT:
Now, not
The one recently ruled had
talking points, well.
MR.
PRINCE:
Were they Benghazi talking points? not familiar with that one.
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
PRINCE: dont think they were.
Okay.
Yeah.
But the other thing note how
thorough the FBI investigation is.
opinion that Federal Records Act case.
Judge Boasberg issued
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
Right.
And while the issue before the court
was different, did make factual findings that said the
FBI supervisory agent was credible when said theres
steps that they can anticipate taking and the FBI can
take more steps.
They can get warrants which they did
THE COURT:
MR.
Right.
PRINCE:
they can get subpoenas.
There are steps that the FBI can conceive taking that would
feasibly lead more emails from Secretary Clinton. thats why, when say weve searched the FBI files,
theres nothing more done.
The idea that need
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE: find more files?
Well, those are the files that were
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR. credible.
PRINCE:
PRINCE:
PRINCE:
PRINCE: find more emails?
Oh.
Find more emails?
Right.
Apologies, Your Honor.
Right, right.
Okay.
Thats what the FBI would say?
Thats correct, and that was found
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
And the would agree? believe so, but the report came
out before that statement from the FBI came out.
say whether not.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE: cant
Right.
But extensive efforts were made,
including looking people who Clinton emailed; right?
Sixty-eight percent her emails were Ms. Abedin, Ms.
Mills and Mr. Sullivan, and the FBI went and interviewed
other emails
peoples emails get any emails from Clinton, and
they did,
the servers; they subpoenaed service providers for different
ISPs telecom providers.
opinion explains fully.
[sic]
and they asked for access variety
and the servers were the FBI got things from
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
There was lot done,
and that
Where that?
That 15-785,
Document 58.
And
Judicial Watch was party that case and was Cause
Action.
whole but against the Secretary his official capacity. the parties are comity here. was not technically against the Department
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
PRINCE:
Okay. that
Thats Judge Boasbergs opinion?
Correct.
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR. 58?
PRINCE:
Yeah.
Okay.
PRINCE:
Now, the other search that was done
was Abedin Ms. Abedins emails.
you know,
her personal computer and found some additional emails.
Those were all searched both for this case and that
wasnt just searching for Clinton emails because this case
Okay?
The FBI,
found emails they actually got warrant for more than that; recognize that and all them, all her emails non-state.gov account had been produced Judicial Watch specifically and publicly posted, and that
production was done earlier and that case was settled.
might not have the cite that, but let check really
quickly.
(Brief pause. believe that was 15-684 before Judge Howell.
The
Judicial Watch challenged the adequacy that search
and then withdrew that challenge after State provided more
information opposition brief.
THE COURT:
MR.
And what was the search for?
PRINCE:
The search was for the all agency all emails from Ms. Abedin non-state.gov email
account.
searched for this case.
And, obviously, Ms. Abedins state.gov email was was the state.gov emails the they and
other few people weve been talking about. addition, all the Clinton emails have been produced. not only have the ones about Benghazi been identified,
but all the emails that State has gotten from Ms.
Clinton,
that are agency records,
publicly and specifically Judicial Watch.
which the cite that Ms. Cotca was looking for earlier the case where those were produced where the
the non-exempt portions and considering the ones course have been produced
15-687
basically, the all Clinton emails, including the first
batch FBI docs that were not specifically from Ms.
Abedins computer, and that was large volume material,
most which were either duplicates non-agency records.
They were purely personal.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
And whos the judge that one?
That Judge Boasberg, well.
And
Judge Moss had similar request from different plaintiff
and both them had orders the case about production.
And believe that one was 15-1217, but not positive.
Its not the same parties.
But both judges oversaw the production the FBI emails.
And, course, Judge Contreras oversaw the production
all the 55k. didnt note exactly.
That was 15-123.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
That was Leopold?
Yes, thats Leopold which very
familiar with.
The one thing that has come that theres
been some pretend surprise that there are few documents
found.
believe.
Secretary issue.
found were all documents discussing them afterwards,
although cant remember for sure. this was something that was done Ms.
Theres only four responsive documents found,
Thats because this was not office the
The believe the documents that were
Its been while.
But
Rice who was different office, the Mission the U.N.
shouldnt big surprise that the number small.
talking just about the talking points.
Benghazi-related documents was large, course.
have been Ive handled multiple FOIA requests that,
and those are all done this point. there
Were
The number
And there thats the search, far can
tell because Judicial Watch has all Ms. Abedins
emails and all Ms. Clintons emails the best the
FBIs ability,
the Mills, Abedin and Sullivan docs that were produced and
that weve already offered search and,
complete December 17th.
the only things that can see remaining are
(Brief pause.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
Okay.
All right.
again, could
Anything else?
Well, the discovery, there
actually lot overlap between the requested discovery
and what happened Sullivan and, certainly, with the FBI
investigation.
not the same discovery, but they released extensive
detail and, fact,
information there was limiting the discovery his case. seems appropriate that here.
the recognize that the FBI investigation
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
mid-November.
PRINCE:
PRINCE:
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
Judge Sullivan relied how much extra
Most importantly,
Are you doing the case before him?
Before Judge
Judge Sullivan.
No, was not, although you know when that hearing is? believe November 16th.
Certainly
Okay.
Okay.
And the other thing note
that although Ms.
lot questions because privilege assertions,
never challenged that case.
valid privilege assertions and wouldnt answered here Judicial Watch basically waived the right challenge
that kind thing.
Cotca said that Ms. Mills didnt answer
that was either they were there has been extensive discovery.
The (bl motion that they seeking covers
basically what was covered the 30(b) (6) motion the
other case, because that was about all types searches
that involved emails which includes the scope this one,
and that was thats theres large transcript
available read that.
thorough. was very detailed and very think Ive talked mostly about the FBI
investigation.
The OIG report available read and you
said you read it.
important note that Congress, the Benghazi Committee, did you know what that is.
Its also
their own investigation into this matter,
released 800-page report not just emails. Benghazi.
investigation.
sympathetic State. was also
That was not someone particularly
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
seen that one.
They
And, obviously, that was very independent well.
PRINCE:
Right. dont have that one and had not
Does have discussion emails, too?
MR.
PRINCE:
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE: does. does?
Yeah. fact,
let oh, also
includes transcripts the public testimony Ms. Clinton,
Ms. Mills, Ms. Abedin,
who were people who have been deposed otherwise subject discovery already.
John Bentel and Patrick Kennedy, all
And that was very that was, you
know
there was lot back and forth that.
know you watched it, but was very dramatic, especially
the Ms. Clinton the one for Secretary former Secretary
Clinton.
(Brief pause. the
THE COURT:
MR. dont
PRINCE:
What did the State do? believe made recommendations.
dont remember precisely what they were this point.
did released BO-page report.
critical the email practices
practices, but said found evidence, despite
extensive inquiry, that anyone State approved was highly Clintons email
THE COURT REPORTER:
MR.
There was evidence found, despite extensive
PRINCE:
Can you slow down, please. apologies.
inquiry, that anyone State approved the use the
server, and the FBI also found that there was the best
information the FBI had was that Secretary Clinton had not
used personal email account shield her correspondence
from public disclosure but rather for convenience.
not say didnt shield it, obviously, but weve taken
care this case least, and that was actually
Director Corney then-FBI Director Corneys testimony
front the House.
Thats thats publicly available, well.
Also, Ms. Clintons 302 available.
redacted because there are issues somewhat
THE COURT:
MR. thats our there are two broad areas that
PRINCE:
Right. that couldnt made public.
Judicial Watch said that they were interested in. think examination shows and weve addressed this the
briefs that those interests are not served all the
discovery theyre asking for;
second, one those was
the remedy.
And the FBI says that cant find cant
think anything else could feasibly find more
Clintons emails.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
Now, where that said?
That said the Judge Boasberg
opinion the FRA case.
takeaway from that.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
And only relying his
Right.
Okay.
And found that
understandable and credible were the kinds words,
think, used.
applicability that quite different than would
here, but still accepted that assessment.
Now, was dealing with mootness. the
And then the other topic evidence bad faith
Now, any bad faith responding this request.
think hope Ive cleared that what seemed
thought bad faith and false affidavit not what how was presented.
THE COURT:
MR. PRINCE: have back and read it.
Yes, please do. highly encourage
But the upshot that the search was done well
that.
before the MSJ.
Sullivan
And, fact,
THE COURT:
MR. PRINCE:
the search the Mills and the 55,000? the 55,000.
And the Mills and
Sullivan documents that were produced before the MSJ, those
were also done.
us.
get the time that and really have good search.
Once
And that both those were initiated both cases, approached Judicial Watch dont discovery isnt necessary there,
except the extent, maybe, the purpose the
server, but that was addressed the Sullivan
discovery before Judge Sullivan; right?
the main topics all the depositions was, was someone
trying hide something? known the FOIA Department?
mean, yes, would have been better someone knew, but
its clear wasnt known and, therefore, thats not bad
faith the part fulfilling the FOIA request, whatever
may have been wrong with the way the records were actually
being handled. the
That was one
Who knew about this?
Why wasnt
That wasnt great.
And far FOIA goes,
remember, the overarching
purpose find out what additional searches should
done.
representation and our willingness conduct the one bit
searches offered two years ago three years ago now,
dont think there are any, simply,
searches.
much more has been done that there should opportunity present that the Court.
And here,
And,
especially light the FBI
except for those
certainly, should briefed. mean,
Your Honor said that rare
the rare circumstances that justify FOIA exist, but those
circumstances have radically changed now.
information and none has really been formally
presented you,
opportunity this point. youve said.
Theres more
Theres not been wed like complete the searches and then
brief that.
Judicial Watch.
close, wed happy seek that.
thats likely.
searches have agreed and then also sum all the
other searches and how they affect this case before any
discovery ordered,
which, would argue,
And, course, were happy discuss with theres way bring this case admit that.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE: doesnt sound like
But least let the discovery still warranted,
its not.
All right.
Thank you.
MS. COTCA:
May Your Honor,
THE COURT:
Yes.
MS. COTCA: couple issues that were
respond
raised?
First,
the State Department approached Judicial
Watch and was hoping resolve the case back December
2014 before even had any idea the 55,000 emails had not
been searched from Secretary Clinton.
thats whats led the posture where are today this thats where
case.
Second all, with respect the search the
additional emails that were returned Cheryl Mills, Huma
Abedin,
emphatically disagree with opposing counsel that Judicial
Watch refused and declined State Departments offer
search those emails and provide whether any are responsive
and produce them this case.
history Judicial Watch since Ive been working there,
have declined the State Department any agency says, have some records that believe are potentially
responsive and just need time search them and produce
them you and Ive said, No,
respectfully,
representation that issue.
Jacob Sullivan and Philippe Reines,
Never have the
thank you very much. disagree with opposing counsels want address with respect and Mr.
Prince was accurate.
The case that was pending front
Judge Mehta, Case 15-692 where requested all Secretary
Clintons emails about Benghazi, that was strictly for
Secretary Clintons emails.
between Jacob Sullivan/Cheryl Mills,
personal accounts about Benghazi the talking
specifically about the talking points,
email, that would responsive this case,
not covered that case.
Emails that may have occurred
lets say,
from their there such
and that was
Also, with respect the opposing counsel went length about the case before Judge Boasberg where
Judge Boasberg found that what the FBI had done was
sufficient and complete.
and Judicial Watch does not agree with how the court
concluded that case and believe its coming very
soon appeal.
look for you, you need the exact date, but Judicial
Watch does not agree that everything that has been done
the FBI was complete.
And,
That case actually appeal dont have the exact can actually
for example, not have mean,
and
the
can back different agency and, sort
its somewhat similar this case,
lets say, what happened, and the Tea Party organizations,
and then finding out that Lois Lerners emails were lost and
then the IRS actually deleted the backup records the
right, with the IRS,
backup disc and tapes from those emails.
What the IRS
did and, frankly, what the State Department and what
Judicial Watch has requested for several years now since
this case has been pending for long provide list custodians whom Secretary Clinton communicated with.
was think was over 100 custodians who Lois Lerner
communicated with.
those emails.
was done and its concluded.
They went ahead and they compiled all
The search took little bit longer, but
Why the State Department has
refused that this case beyond me, but that
part what were requesting,
have been requesting.
IRS
and thats part what
With respect specifically, because Cheryl
Millss deposition was brought and that was taken
13-1363 Cheryl Mills refused respond questions
about the collection emails and Secretary Clintons
emails not based privilege but based out-of-scope
objection, and that out-of-scope objection was made the
State Department well Secretary well Ms.
Millss private attorneys, and Ms. Mills did not respond
questions because they deemed that those questions were out scope the discovery that Judge Sullivan had permitted that case.
covered and its not matter of, you know, bringing the
objection privilege before Judge Sullivan. dont believe that that has been
Its
different issue.
And because have discovery
this case,
actually more relevant and pertinent whats happening
this case.
Judicial Watch said, Thats fine.
This
And, you know, with respect evidence bad
Your Honor, this case, its been pending since 2014.
faith, the summer 2014, the State Department was
communicating about Secretary Clintons emails the State
Department.
State Department represented Judicial Watch
that had concluded its search. provided draft
Vaughn index.
that has done what its saying its doing when responding FOIA request that its pending litigation. would just point the Court one the such documents
that were seeking actually for redactions removed.
Its Document 50-1,
Finney Clarence [sic], who the State Department and
was handling the document request, and Jonathon Wasser and
James Bair; subject:
account.
substance the emails are completely redacted, and this
August 8th, 2014, when the State Department was responding Judicial Watchs FOIA request this case.
that there isnt evidence bad faith this case,
simply disagree.
There should good faith from the agency
And
Its email between
Former Secretary Clintons email
All the emails are completely redacted the the fact
Judicial Watch would simply disagree with
that.
Oh, and with respect the State IGs report believe dont have
the Inspector Generals report
that with me,
based the handling the Secretary Clintons use
her email server.
least Cheryl Mills actually did not agree speak with the
State when was doing its investigation which, quite pertinent and important when the Court
but concluded that FOIA was obstructed
And believe that Cheryl Mills
considering the discovery that Judicial Watch asking for. think Ive covered all the points.
Honor has any questions,
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE: Your happy address them.
Thank you.
Your Honor, September 8th, 2015, filed our opposition the 56(d) motion and
THE COURT:
MR. think,
PRINCE:
Thats 51?
That no,
Honor, thats Document 27.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
the sorry, Your
Its way back.
Oh.
And looking Page and about two-thirds the way down. stated that,
Despite the fact that had obligation so, State
was willing stay summary judgment briefing and ask the
Court set schedule allow search those
documents for records responsive the FOIA request.
Those
records this case are the records received Mr. from
Mr. Sullivan, Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin after the motion for
summary judgment was filed.
reach agreement regarding schedule for such search.
thats evidence that that discussion did happen.
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
PRINCE:
What number that?
Now
27?
27.
Okay.
And the reply that, theres
mention this particular sentence.
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
The parties were unable
PRINCE:
PRINCE:
PRINCE:
PRINCE:
What note that? sorry? that footnote?
No,
its not footnote.
Its
Its major paragraph Page
Okay. starts little more than half-way
down.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
All right.
And think this really crucial.
Now, true that refused search Reiness emails
because Reines not the office the Secretary and
this search was limited the office the Secretary
actually, its not quite true that refused. said,
part global settlement, might willing consider
it, but absent that, were not willing conduct that
extensive search and dont think its necessary, which valid position take, even ends being wrong.
And far bad faith goes,
its true that
told Judicial Watch were done State was done when
was not done, but what did its own was conduct that
search. found out got the emails and searched them. its not its hard say thats bad faith.
Thats
whats supposed happen FOIA case.
the FOIA case, those records would have been State.
course, not having those records made some FOIA cases not
resolved correctly made obstructed FOIA. were not arguing that.
obstruction did occur because has been resolved
this point lot work lot people lot
agencies.
Thank you.
(Brief pause.
THE COURT:
Now, ideally
Theres
Were saying that whatever
Now, your suggestion today what you
could December 17th just those three?
MR.
PRINCE:
THE COURT:
Thats correct, Your Honor.
All right.
And the now, would you
help with the chronology.
Hackett affidavit how did the chronology work?
Your statement about the
Hackett what was that Hackett said?
MR.
PRINCE:
Hackett this referring
specifically his affidavit attached our motion for
summary judgment.
THE COURT:
MR.
July 7th,
PRINCE:
THE COURT:
MR.
Okay.
And that was, course, dated
2015.
Yeah.
PRINCE:
All right. that, describes the searches. describes the -THE COURT:
Well, when did the secret email stuff
become public?
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
PRINCE:
PRINCE:
That became public March.
Of? 2015. 15?
Correct, but our search those
emails began much earlier than that.
was completed the time Judicial Watch approached about
this issue.
THE COURT:
MR. 19-2
PRINCE: fact, our search
Right. okay.
okay.
(Brief pause.
Okay.
And says this
Hold on. Paragraph 17, Mr. Hackett describes the
receipt the 55,000 and how they were searched.
Essentially, because didnt have time put them
system this, they scan them into PDFs and hit control
Fon all the search keys,
and that was done.
earlier no,
this was filed because they were done before,
4th when Judicial Watch approached us.
for while.
and thats what describes was done least two months sorry, least four months earlier than think, March theyd been done
Then describes that Paragraph which Page that declaration, describes the receipt
documents from Ms. Mills and Mr. Sullivan and the review
those documents.
helping this case.
And believe looking for footnote very
Those were reviewed the legal advisor
quickly.
(Brief pause.
Okay. Footnote the actual motion not
the declaration; thats Page counsel for the three
individuals thats Abedin, Sullivan and Mills informed
the Department that they may provide further response
the letter the future.
declaration Paragraph 19.
receives any additional documents that relate the subject
matter the FOIA request, the Department will advise
Oh, thats the Hackett
And said the Department
Judicial Watch that the parties can discuss how
address the documents.
described that our opposition the 56(d) motion.
also mentioned again January 17.
Judicial Watchs written filings contest that.
THE COURT:
MR.
PRINCE:
Thats exactly what did and date, none
Right, right. thats think its thats
the -THE COURT:
Okay.
Well, must have misremembered
what was saying you originally, because dont recall
that that way.
Okay.
MR.
PRINCE:
Thank you, Your Honor.
MS. COTCA:
Your Honor
THE COURT:
Yes.
MS. COTCA: would just point the fact that February 2014, one month before became public
the New York Times Secretary Clintons use, the parties
did file joint status report that time and the State
Department still did not provide the Court that time
the extraordinary situation with respect Secretary
Clintons emails well these other individuals emails
who were using private email accounts.
believes, that point, had the State Department wanted candid with the Court and forthcoming with the
information,
February,
Judicial Watch
for certain, that point, had
all Secretary Clintons emails;
knew Secretary Clinton
was communicating with Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin,
Sullivan.
these emails that had not even been dont even believe
they had been even searched that point, but would just
say there had been representations the Court prior the
March 5th 2015, where the State Department was not
forthcoming with its processing this particular FOIA
request not only the plaintiff back November,
They were her closest advisors.
Jacob
And there were
September and December 2014 but also the Court
2015.
MR.
PRINCE:
Your Honor, that was status report
setting schedule proposing schedule and, habit and its good practice not disclose the
mechanics what were searching while its going
because that leaves more freedom.
new search, just search it, and then dont have
have arguments about it.
This was different. had, but certainly was not any kind bad faith with
respect hiding it.
disclose that kind information such status report.
THE COURT: find something
Its not required produce it.
Maybe, you know, Your Honor might wish was normal FOIA practice not
All right.
Thank you very much,
Counsel.
THE DEPUTY CLERK:
All rise.
This Honorable Court
now stands recess.
(Proceedings concluded 10:59 a.m.)
CERTIFICATE OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER TIMOTHY MILLER, RPR, CRR, NJ-CCR, hereby certify that
the above and foregoing constitutes true and accurate
transcript stenographic notes and full,
complete transcript the proceedings the best
ability, dated this 15th day October 2018.
true and
/s/Timothy Miller, RPR, CRR, NJ-CCR
Official Court Reporter
United States Courthouse
Room 6722
333 Constitution Avenue,
Washington, 20001