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Judicial Watch • JW v State HRC emails Priestap answers 01242

JW v State HRC emails Priestap answers 01242

JW v State HRC emails Priestap answers 01242

Page 1: JW v State HRC emails Priestap answers 01242

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Number of Pages:19

Date Created:April 12, 2019

Date Uploaded to the Library:April 12, 2019

Tags:objections, Priestap, interrogatory, interrogatories, individuals, 01242, Susan Rice, Plaintiffs, response, HRC, Mills, Emails, Benghazi, Secretary, clinton, federal, State Department, records, FBI, department, FOIA


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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
WDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff,
Case No. 14-cv-1242 (RCL)
U.S. DEPARTMENT STATE,
Defendant.
NON-PARTY E.W. PRIESTAPS RESPONSES AND OBJECTIONS
PLAINTIFFS INTERROGATORIES E.W. PRIESTAP
Subject and without waiving his objection the propriety any discovery non-party
E.W. Priestap non-party the Federal Bureau oflnvestigation (FBI) this matter, Mr. Priestap,
Assistant Director the FBIs Counterintelligence Division, hereby responds Plaintiff Judicial
Watch, Inc.s (Judicial Watch) Interrogatories E.W. Priestap:
OBJECTIONS ALL INTERROGATORIES
Non-party E.W. Priestap objects all Plaintiffs interrogatories the ground
that they are not authorized the Federal Rules Civil Procedure. Rule the Federal Rules Civil Procedure, titled Interrogatories Parties, does not authorize the service
interrogatories non-parties. See Univ. Texas Austin Vratil, F.3d 1337, 1340 (10th
Cir. 1996); accord Charles Wright Arthur Miller, Parties Subject Interrogatories,
Fed. Prac. Proc. Civ. 2171 (3d ed.) ([I]nterrogatories are limited parties the litigation.).
Non-party E.W. Priestap objects all Plaintiffs interrogatories the ground
that any discovery the FBI any its employees this case unduly burdensome and
disproportionate the needs this case, Freedom Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against
the Department State. Neither the FBI, nor Mr. Priestap party this lawsuit. The FBIs
investigation into the facts underlying former Secretary Clintons use private email server has bearing any the subjects which the Court has ordered discovery this matter, including
the adequacy the search conducted the State Department response Plaintiffs FOIA
request seeking certain talking points related the Benghazi attacks.
Plaintiffs service
discovery the FBI this case appears attempt end-run around the legitimate
FOIA exemptions that have been taken the FBI separate FOIA litigation matters against
Judicial Watch. Moreover, much the information that Judicial Watch seeking here already
available Judicial Watch, based review publicly available information the FBIs
website, and information already provided Judicial Watch itself other FOIA Federal
Records Act litigation.
OBJECTIONS INSTRUCTIONS AND DEFINITIONS
Non-party E.W. Priestap objects Instruction the extent seeks require Mr.
Priestap provide information that not his possession, custody, control. Mr. Priestap will
limit the scope his responses information that either within his personal knowledge has
been provided him his official capacity the Assistant Director the FBI
Counterintelligence Division, after reasonable inquiry. the extent Instruction seeks
impose additional requirements Mr. Priestap, improper attempt achieve what
effectively Rule 30(b )(6) deposition written questions the FBI, which not party this
litigation.
Non-party E.W. Priestap objects Instruction the extent requires him, with
respect any portion any interrogatory that unable answer fully and completely,
(1) provide all facts support his inability answer; (2) describe all the efforts
made locate the information needed answer the interrogatory; and (3) identify each
person, any, who known [him] have such information. This Instruction constitutes
multiple additional interrogatories, ones that are unduly burdensome and disproportionate the
needs the case. They are also beyond the scope the discovery permitted the Court, they
have connection whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive Judicial Watchs FOIA request. Neither Rule nor Rule nor any Local Rule requires Mr.
Priestap compile and provide this information response Instruction accompanying
set interrogatories. Accordingly, will not so.
Non-party E.W. Priestap objects Instruction the extent requires him, with
respect each interrogatory, state whether the information furnished the answer within
[his] personal knowledge and, not, identify each person who has personal knowledge the
information furnished the answer. This Instruction constitutes additional interrogatory, one
that unduly burdensome and disproportionate the needs the case. also beyond the
scope the discovery ordered the Court which Mr. Priestap obligated respond, has connection whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive
Judicial Watch request. Neither Rule nor Rule nor any Local Rule requires Mr.
Priestap compile and provide this information response Instruction accompanying
set interrogatories. Accordingly, will not so.
INTERROGATORY
Identify the representatives Secretary Clinton, the former members her staff, and
the government agencies from which email repositories were obtained, referenced
paragraph your Declaration.
Response: Mr. Priestap objects this interrogatory because beyond the scope the
discovery ordered the Court; particular, irrelevant the question whether the State
Department conducted adequate search response the FOIA request that Judicial Watch
submitted the State Department regarding certain talking points provided the State
Department Susan Rice about the Benghazi attacks.
Subject and without waiving these objections, Mr. Priestap identifies the following
representatives Secretary Clinton, former members her staff, and government agencies
from which email repositories were obtained, referenced Paragraph the Amended
Supplemental Declaration E.W. Priestap, available ECF No. 52-1 Judicial Watch, Inc.
Tillerson, D.D.C. Case No. l:15-cv-00785. After reasonably diligent inquiry, Mr. Priestap
believes this list fully responsive Interrogatory but not necessarily exhaustive
list all sources email repositories obtained the FBI part its investigation.
Bryan Pagliano
Cheryl Mills
Executive Office the President
Heather Samuelson
Jacob Sullivan
Justin Cooper
United States Department State
United States Secret Service
Williams Connolly LLP
INTERROGATORY
Identify the individuals who had the most frequent apparently work-related
communications with Secretary Clinton that the FBI attempted interview, referenced
paragraph your Declaration.
Response: Mr. Priestap objects this interrogatory because beyond the scope the
discovery ordered the Court; particular, irrelevant the question whether the State
Department conducted adequate search response the FOIA request that Judicial Watch
submitted the State Department regarding certain talking points provided the State
Department Susan Rice about the Benghazi attacks.
Mr. Priestap further objects this interrogatory because vague, overly broad, unduly
burdensome, and disproportionate the needs this case, the extent seeks identification amorphous set the individuals who communicated most frequent[ly] with Secretary
Clinton about apparently work-related subjects, whom the FBI attempted interview. The
FBI estimates that three individuals, collectively, accounted for more than two thirds all emails
sent directly Secretary Clinton during her tenure Secretary State.
Accordingly, Mr.
Priestap will construe this interrogatory seeking identification the three individuals who had
the most frequent work-related communications with Secretary Clinton who the FBI attempted
interview-that is, those three individuals who collectively accounted for more than two thirds
all emails sent directly Secretary Clinton during her tenure Secretary State
Subject and without waiving these objections, Mr. Priestap identifies these three
individuals (in alphabetical order last name) Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Jacob Sullivan.
INTERROGATORY the individuals identified Interrogatory No. identify those that the FBI interviewed.
Response: Non-party E.W. Priestap incorporates reference his objections
Interrogatory all which apply equally Interrogatory
Subject and without waiving these objections, Mr. Priestap states that the FBI
interviewed all the individuals identified the above response Interrogatory (Huma
Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Jacob Sullivan).
INTERROGATORY the individuals identified Interrogatory No. identify those from whom the FBI
requested records.
Response: Non-party E.W. Priestap incorporates reference his objections
Interrogatory all which apply equally Interrogatory
Mr. Priestap further objects the phrase requested records vague, the FBI has
wide variety law-enforcement tools available obtain records from those who may have
information that potentially interest criminal investigation (e.g., voluntary requests
directly the custodian the records; voluntary requests other individuals entities service
providers who may also possession those same records; subpoenas issued with the
recipients understanding and cooperation; subpoenas issued over the recipients objection; other
forms compulsory process; and on). Some these law-enforcement tools may resemble
request for records from individual some ways, but not others.
Accordingly, Mr. Priestap will construe Interrogatory seeking, the individuals
identified Interrogatory those whose records the FBI obtained.
Subject and without waiving these objections, Mr. Priestap states that the FBI obtained
records from all the individuals identified the above response Interrogatory (Huma
Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Jacob Sullivan).
INTERROGATORY the individuals identified Interrogatory No. identify those that provided records
the FBI and the number ofrecords provided.
Response: Non-party E.W. Priestap incorporates reference his objections
Interrogatories 2-4, all which apply equally Interrogatory
Mr. Priestap further objects Plaintiffs characterization this interrogatory one
interrogatory, when fact contains two discrete subparts. Fed. Civ. 33(a)(l). Going
forward, Mr. Priestap will consider this interrogatory count two interrogatories for purposes the presumptive limit the number interrogatories set forth Federal Rule Civil
Procedure 33(a)(l
Mr. Priestap further objects the phrase provided records vague, the FBI has
wide variety law-enforcement tools available obtain records from those who may have
information interest criminal investigation (e.g., voluntary requests directly the custodian the records; voluntary requests other individuals entities service providers who may also possession those same records; subpoenas issued with the recipients understanding and
cooperation; subpoenas issued over the recipients objection; other forms compulsory process;
Plaintiff repeatedly uses the word records its interrogatories, that word also
appears Mr. Priestaps responses. clear, any use the words record records
these Responses and Objections not intended reflect any conclusion the FBI with respect whether any particular document documents qualified federal records under the Federal
Records Act; agency records under FOIA; records, however modified, for purposes
any other statute.
and on). Some these law-enforcement tools may resemble situation which the FBI was
provided records individual some ways, but not others.
Accordingly, Mr. Priestap will construe Interrogatory seeking, the individuals
identified Interrogatory those whose records the FBI obtained, regardless the manner
which the FBI obtained them.
Mr. Priestap further objects this interrogatory the ground that Judicial Watchs
request for the number records provided with respect each referenced individual unduly
burdensome and disproportionate the needs this case, given the massive burden that would
impose upon the FBI, non-party, were FBI attempt answer that portion the interrogatory accurate manner, and the minimal (if any) value that such numbers would offer resolving
the question whether the State Department conducted adequate search under FOIAfor certain
talking points related the Benghazi attacks. particular, the system that the FBI used house and forensically analyze the data that
the FBI obtained from the various devices, productions, and email repositories collected part its criminal investigation the Clinton email server was set standalone computers
Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) that was used the investigative team
during the investigation. Mr. Priestap understands that, for operational reasons, that SCIF has
since been repurposed other operational uses.
The underlying data the system remains
preserved off-site location with minimal current access; reconstruct setup location
for subject-matter experts analyze the archived data (which would necessary provide the
numbers Judicial Watch seeking) would require significant burden and expense and likely take least several months accomplish. Moreover, the FBI would have remove variety
subject-matter experts from their current operational duties-including Special Agents and
intelligence analysts-all whom have since moved other assignments (and some
instances, other geographical duty stations). Once that team was reassembled, those subject-matter
experts would have re-analyze substantial amounts information from closed investigative
file calculate the particular numbers that Plaintiff seeking. The precise numbers that Plaintiff seeking were never specifically quantified during the investigation (nor part preparing the
referenced declaration).
Assuming the FBI diverted the significant technological and human resources necessary
accomplish that task and calculate the numbers question, even then, the numbers reported would largely meaningless. During the time that the FBIs investigation was active, the FBI made
substantial efforts forensically recover many potentially relevant emails possible. But
much the information recovered the FBI was the form fragmentary data that was
forensically reconstructed the best the FBIs ability, rather than being collected the form full, discrete, complete emails that could counted one-by-one, easily de-duplicated
across the larger set emails that the FBI had collected any particular date. Some the
information collected the FBI was mix both logical content (i.e., actual emails, stored
via traditional electronic methods) and unallocated content (i.e., raw data from the slack space computer server that may forensically retrievable, least part, after deploying substantial
effort, technical expertise, and sensitive law-enforcement techniques and procedures, but that does
not lend itself useful counts total emails). The FBI attempted recover many emails
and much information possible, but the necessary imprecision these forensic recovery and
de-duplication methods makes extremely difficult, not impossible, come with precise,
accurate numbers that would all meaningful this context (even accepting, counterfactually,
that precise numbers this sort were relevant the question whether the State Department
conducted adequate search under FOIA for discrete set talking points provided Susan
Rice regarding the Benghazi attacks). sum, Mr. Priestap has personal knowledge the
numbers requested Judicial Watch, and could not obtain them without the FBI non-party)
undertaking extremely burdensome steps that are disproportionate the needs this case.
Subject and without waiving these objections, Mr. Priestap states that the FBI obtained
records from all the individuals identified the above response Interrogatory (Huma
Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Jacob Sullivan).
INTERROGATORY the records provided the FBI individuals identified Interrogatory No. how
many were not copies already collected. See your Declaration paragraph
Response: Non-party E.W. Priestap incorporates reference his objections
Interrogatories 2-5, all which apply equally Interrogatory (except that this Interrogatory
does not contain multiple discrete subparts, unlike Interrogatory 5).
Mr. Priestap further objects Interrogatory because beyond the scope the
discovery ordered the Court; particular, irrelevant the question whether the State
Department conducted adequate search response the FOIA request that Judicial Watch
submitted the State Department regarding certain talking points provided the State
Department Susan Rice about the Benghazi attacks. Whether small number large number the documents obtained the FBI from the individuals question turned out duplicates
(or copies already collected) has bearing whether the State Department conducted
adequate search the above-captioned FOIA case. What matters that the FBI ultimately turned
over all emails the State Department that had collected part its investigation that were
apparently work-related other than those that the FBI obtained from the State Department itself),
for determination the State Department whether any the emails question were
fact unique federal records.
Mr. Priestap further objects this interrogatory the ground that Judicial Watchs
request for the number records that were not copies already collected, with respect each
referenced individual, unduly burdensome and disproportionate the needs this case, given
the massive burden that would impose upon the FBI, non-party, were FBI attempt answer
that portion the interrogatory fulsome and accurate manner, and the minimal (if any) value
that such numbers would offer resolving the question whether the State Department
conducted adequate search under FOIA for certain talking points related the Benghazi
attacks. For further explanation the burden involved, Mr. Priestap incorporates reference the
above responses and objections Interrogatory
Subject and without waiving these objections, Mr. Priestap refers Judicial Watch
Paragraph the referenced declaration, which states that most these records were copies
already collected.
INTERROGATORY
Identify whether any individuals identified Interrogatory No. refused otherwise
failed provide records the FBI and explain what steps the FBI took obtain the requested
records from said individuals.
Response: Non-party E.W. Priestap incorporates reference his objections
Interrogatories 2-5, all which apply equally Interrogatory
Mr. Priestap further objects Plaintiffs characterization this interrogatory one
interrogatory, when fact contains two discrete subparts. Fed. Civ. 33(a)(l). Going
forward, Mr. Priestap will consider this interrogatory count two interrogatories for purposes the presumptive limit the number interrogatories set forth Federal Rule Civil
Procedure 33(a)(l
Subject and without waiving these objections, Mr. Priestap states that none the
individuals identified the above response Interrogatory refused otherwise failed
provide records the FBI.
INTERROGATORY
Describe the nature the interviews conducted the FBI individuals who had the
most frequent apparently work-related communications with Secretary Clinton, referenced
paragraph your Declaration. Specially, explain whether the interviews were conducted
person and whether the FBI made requests whether legal process, such grand jury subpoenas,
was used obtain records from such individuals.
Response: Non-party E.W. Priestap incorporates reference his objections
Interrogatories 2-5, all which apply equally Interrogatory
Mr. Priestap further objects Interrogatory because beyond the scope the
discovery ordered the Court; particular, irrelevant the question whether the State
Department conducted adequate search response the FOIA request that Judicial Watch
submitted the State Department regarding certain talking points provided the State
Department Susan Rice about the Benghazi attacks. The nature the FBIs investigative
interviews, the particular methods which the FBI obtained records from certain individuals
(as long FBI did, fact, obtain the records that sought), have bearing whether the State
Department conducted adequate search the above-captioned FOIA case. What matters that
the FBI ultimately turned over all emails the State Department that had collected part its
investigation that were apparently work-related (other than those that the FBI obtained from the
State Department itself), for determination the State Department whether any the
emails question were fact unique federal records.
Mr. Priestap further objects Interrogatory because the second sentence oflnterrogatory vague, confusing, and grammatically incorrect, such that difficult understand what
information Judicial Watch seeking.
Mr. Priestap further objects Interrogatory the extent seeks disclosure grand jury
information that protected from public disclosure under Federal Rule Criminal Procedure
6(e).
Mr. Priestap further objects Plaintiffs characterization this interrogatory one
interrogatory, when fact contains three discrete subparts. Fed. Civ. 33(a)(l). Going
forward, Mr. Priestap will consider this interrogatory count three interrogatories for purposes the presumptive limit the number interrogatories set forth Federal Rule Civil
Procedure 33(a)(l
Subject and without waiving these objections, Mr. Priestap states that the FBI conducted
voluntary, in-person investigative interviews with the referenced individuals. With respect
Judicial Watchs separate inquiry regarding the process which the FBI obtained records from
such individuals, Mr. Priestap incorporates reference the above responses Interrogatories and
INTERROGATORY
Secretary Clinton has stated that was her expectation that all her work-related and
potentially work-related e-mail then her custody would provided the State Department
response the State Departments late 2014 request. Describe with specificity (i) the FBIs source information the nature the search done Secretary Clinton and/or her representatives for
work-related communications, (ii) your understanding the nature the search, such
keywords other methods, and (iii) any conclusions the FBI reached the adequacy the
search.
Response: Non-party E.W. Priestap objects Interrogatory vague, the extent
(1) the second sentence Interrogatory vague, confusing, and grammatically incorrect, such
that difficult understand what information Judicial Watch seeking; and (2) the extent relies upon amorphous concepts such the FBI (purportedly singular) source information
about the nature the referenced search; Mr. Priestaps understanding the nature that
search; reference undefined other methods searching; and reference the adequacy the search question, word that typically used the FOIA context legal term art,
rather than connection with FBI investigation.
Mr. Priestap further objects Plaintiffs characterization this interrogatory one
interrogatory, when fact contains three discrete subparts. Fed. Civ. 33(a)(l). Going
forward, Mr. Priestap will consider this interrogatory count three interrogatories for purposes the presumptive limit the number interrogatories set forth Federal Rule Civil
Procedure 33(a)(l).
Subject and without waiving these objections, response portions (i) and (ii)
Interrogatory Mr. Priestap states that the sources the FBIs information about the collection,
culling, and review former Secretary Clintons e-mails came primarily from the following
individuals; and the FBIs understanding that process documented the listed FD-302
interview summaries, which have been made public the FBI and are all available (in partially
redacted form) the FBIs website:
Available https ://vault.fbi.gov/hillary-r.-clinton.
The FD-302 summarizing FBI interview former Secretary State Hillary Rodham Clinton describes her direction her
legal team assist responding request from the
Department State address gaps their system records.
See HRC 48-58.
The FD-302s summarizing the FBIs interviews with Cheryl
Mills and Heather Samuelson describe the process used
collect, cull, and review the e-mails referenced
Interrogatory See HRC 157-161 (Mills); HRC 203-208
(Samuelson).
Other FD-302s describe certain technical assistance provided
Ms. Mills, upon her request, individual whose name has
been redacted under FOIA, related performing archive
search Secretary Clintons e-mails from her tenure
Secretary State. See HRC 66-71; HRC 72-78; HRC 79-85.
The FD-302 summarizing FBI interview Bryan Pagliano
describes conversation with Cheryl Mills and Justin Cooper
that was apparently tied the efforts they had undertaken
locate former Secretary Clintons e-mail archives. See HRC
213-220.
Another FD-302, summarizing interview individual
whose name has been redacted under FOIA, includes review several e-mails related this subject, and the interviewees
responses questions seeking additional context about those
emails. See HRC 193-196.
Finally, subject and without waiving the above-stated objections, response portion
(iii) Interrogatory Mr. Priestap states that the FBI reached conclusions with respect
the adequacy the search referenced Interrogatory
INTERROGATORY 10:
Identify the number email files deemed within the scope the warrant and
reviewed the FBI, referenced the attached FBI memorandum (Exhibit B), Bates No.
HRC-13306.
Response: Non-party E.W. Priestap objects Interrogatory because beyond the
scope the discovery ordered the Court; particular, irrelevant the question whether
the State Department conducted adequate search response the FOIA request that Judicial
Watch submitted the State Department regarding certain talking points provided the State
Department Susan Rice about the Benghazi attacks. The precise number emails that the FBI
deemed within the scope the particular warrant referenced Interrogatory has
bearing whether the State Department conducted adequate search the above-captioned
FOIA case. What matters that the FBI ultimately turned over all emails the State Department
that had collected part its investigation that were apparently work-related (other than those
that the FBI obtained from the State Department itself), for determination the State
Department whether any the emails question were fact unique federal records.
Subjectto and without waiving these objections, Mr. Priestap states that 48,982 email items
were deemed within the scope the referenced warrant and reviewed the FBI, reported the unredacted version the memorandum referenced Interrogatory 10. That number,
however, should not directly compared other publicly available data, the methodology
used the FBI recover, process, and de-duplicate emails (as discussed the above response Interrogatory may result numbers that not perfectly align with other publicly available
data.
Dated: March 22, 2019
Respectfully submitted,
JOSEPH HUNT
Assistant Attorney General
ELIZABETH SHAPIRO
Deputy Branch Director
ROBERT PRINCE (D.C. Bar No. 975545)
Senior Trial Counsel
Isl StephenM. Pezzi
STEPHEN PEZZI (D.C. Bar No. 995500)
Trial Attorney
United States Department Justice
Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch
1100 Street
Washington, 20005
Phone: (202) 305-8576
Fax: (202) 616-8470
Email: stephen.pezzi@usdoj.gov
Attorneys for the United States
VERIFICATION E.W. Priestap, pursuant U.S.C. 1746, declare under penalty perjury that the
interrogatory answers contained the above Responses and Objections Plaintiffs
Interrogatories E.W. Priestap are true and correct the best knowledge, upon information
and belief, and based upon information provided official capacity the Assistant
Director the FBI Counterintelligence Division.
Date:
fYL.,.,+,-cA. 2019.
[.vJ
E.W. Priestap
Assistant Director, Counterintelligen
Federal Bureau Investigation
Division
CERTIFICATE SERVICE hereby certify that March 22, 2019, served the Responses and Objections
Plaintiffs Interrogatories E.W. Priestap electronic mail the following:
WDICIAL WATCH, INC.
Michael Bekesha
James Peterson
Ramona Cotca
Isl Stephen Pezzi
STEPHEN PEZZI (D.C. Bar No. 995500)