Judicial Watch Files Lawsuit against State Department for Records about Hillary Clinton’s iPad and iPhone
Argues State Department “Unlawfully Withholding Records” Regarding Clinton Practices
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced that it has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to obtain the release of documents regarding Hillary Clinton’s efforts to gain approval for use of an iPhone or iPad to conduct official business while she was secretary of state (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00646)).
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the Department of State failed to comply with Judicial Watch’s March 10, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking release of the following:
Any and all records of requests by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or her staff to the State Department Office Security Technology seeking approval for the use of an iPad or iPhone for official government business; and
Any and all communications within or between the Office of the Secretary of State, the Executive Secretariat, and the Office of the Secretary and the Office of Security Technology concerning, regarding, or related to the use of unauthorized electronic devices for official government business.
By letter dated April 10, 2015, the State Department acknowledged receipt of the request but made no effort to respond with a document production, or its intent to withhold documents, within the legally required 20 days. The lawsuit makes clear that State has not met basic FOIA standards, failing to:
- Determine whether to comply with the request;
- Notify Plaintiff of any such determination or the reasons therefor;
- Advise Plaintiff of the right to appeal any adverse determination;
- Produce the requested records or otherwise demonstrate that the requested records are exempt from production.
On March 31, 2015, The Associated Press reported that Clinton, while secretary of state, had used an iPad to email members of her staff, contradicting her statements that she had used a secret email account so that she could conveniently conduct official business on one electronic device alone. None of Hillary Clinton’s email records have been produced to Judicial Watch nor disclosed to the courts as required by law. Reports of Clinton’s use of both a secret email server based at her residence and of an iPad to conduct government business have also raised concerns about the security of Clinton’s communications.
There are approximately 18 lawsuits, 10 of which are active in federal court, as well as about 160 Judicial Watch FOIA requests, that could be affected by Mrs. Clinton and her staff’s use of secret email accounts to conduct official government business. In Judicial Watch’s various FOIA lawsuits, lawyers for Judicial Watch have informed attorneys for the Obama administration that Hillary Clinton’s and any other secret accounts used by State employees should be secured, recovered, and searched.
Judicial Watch has also filed over 20 requests about the Clinton email scandal. This lawsuit is the first of several to be filed over the next few weeks, as the State Department and other Obama administration agencies have failed to respond as required by law.
“The Obama State Department would rather violate federal transparency law than give the American people simple facts about Hillary Clinton’s iPad and iPhone,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama State Department is engaged in a cover-up and this is the first of several new federal lawsuits that Judicial Watch will file to hold this administration and Mrs. Clinton to account for their apparent criminal violations of federal records laws and other laws.”