Judicial Watch: Court Orders State Department to Report on Clinton Server Search
AUGUST 13, 2015
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced that Judge Emmet Sullivan today ordered the State Department to file by noon Friday information about what it is doing to search Hillary Clinton’s email server now in the custody of the Justice Department and FBI. The court also reiterated its directive that the State Department disclose additional information about where government records may reside. The order is the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff (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.
Today’s order states:
On August 7, 2015, the State Department indicated that it would, by August 14, 2015, provide additional information about all servers, accounts, hard drives, or other devices in the Department’s possession or control that may contain information responsive to Plaintiff’s Freedom of Information Act request in this case. The State Department shall file a status report with such relevant information no later than 12:00 p.m. on August 14, 2015. Further, in light of the State Department’s August 12, 2015 status report, the August 14, 2015 report shall indicate the extent to which the State Department is working with other government agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice, to search Mrs. Clinton’s private email server for information relevant to this lawsuit. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on August 13, 2015.
Late last night, the State Department filed correspondence in response to another order by Judge Sullivan requiring the State Department to report on his directive to take steps to ensure that Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin, and Clinton aide Cheryl Mills did not destroy government records. The filing included a letter from Hillary Clinton’s lawyer David Kendall that read in part:
[W]e have voluntarily provided to the Department of Justice on August 6, 2015, the .pst file containing electronic copies of the 55,000 pages of emails on a thumb drive (along with two copies), which had been securely stored in my possession, after receiving from the Department of Justice an assurance that it would maintain this file in an appropriately secure manner and the Department’s opinion that such maintenance would satisfy any preservation obligations I am under. Similarly, Platte River Networks is today providing to the Department of Justice the server and related equipment on which emails to and from Secretary Clinton’s clintonemail.com were stored from 2009 to 2013 and which PRN took possession of in 2013. This is following the Department of Justice’s assurances to us and counsel for PRN that it would maintain the server equipment in an appropriately secure manner. The Department also gave counsel its opinion that such maintenance would satisfy any preservation obligations we have.
“This latest order shows the courts are expecting quick action on Mrs. Clinton’s email system and that the Justice Department won’t be able to bury her emails,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And her lawyer’s letter in response to the court’s orders shows Mrs. Clinton continues to withhold material information from the court. It also looks as if Mrs. Clinton is still withholding emails from the FBI and Justice Department.”