Judicial Watch: Federal Court Issues Opinion Ordering Release of More Clinton Foundation Conflict of Interest Documents
FEBRUARY 15, 2017
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced that U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras issued an opinion ordering the State Department to search for and turn over details on potential conflicts of interest between former Secretary Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. The February 2 court opinion and order came in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00688)).
The Obama State Department had blacked out the details of certain conflict of interest issues in records and the court ordered that material disclosed to Judicial Watch:
State must release the identities of: (1) the group for the potential speaking engagement for former-Secretary Clinton (2) the potential sponsors in Document C05867888 (3) the foreign government in Document C05867890 and (4) the potential consulting client in Document C0586776.
Judge Contreras also ruled that the State Department must provide the “domain extensions” for two documents that it blacked out entirely, and denied the State Department’s request to close the case.
The lawsuit stems from a Judicial Watch FOIA request on March 17, 2015, and a subsequent lawsuit filed on May 6, 2015, seeking:
- Records that identify the policies and/or procedures in place to ensure that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s personal or charitable financial relationships with foreign leaders, foreign governments, and business entities posed no conflict of interest to her role as Secretary of State; and
- Records concerning the State Department’s review of donations to the Clinton Foundation for potential conflicts of interest with former Secretary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State.
“The Obama State Department was trying to hide the details of some of Hillary Clinton’s conflicts of interests,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We’re pleased the court pushed backed against this secrecy.”
Judge Contreras previously ordered the State Department to explain how and when “new” records from the office of Hillary Clinton were located and why they had not been identified previously. The State Department subsequently filed its explanation and agreed to begin producing documents.
Judicial Watch learned that the Obama State Department had found “thousands” of new records from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. According to information provided to Judicial Watch by various Justice Department attorneys, the new documents appeared to be “working” records in electronic format located on both “shared” and “individual” drives accessible to or used by persons identified as being relevant to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits on the Benghazi scandal and controversies from Clinton’s term at State.