SEPTEMBER 02, 2015
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced it filed a lawsuit seeking access to two of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails in their original, native format (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-01414)). The native format contains metadata, which provides details such as server information and hidden email recipients.
In May 2015, the State Department posted to its website several emails alleged returned by Clinton to the State Department late last year. In July, Judicial Watch submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking for email “as it was sent” for two of the emails – one by Clinton aide Huma Abedin on Sunday, August 21, 2011, from her AbedinH@state.gov email address, and the other email “as it was received” by Jacob Sullivan on Saturday, July 7, 2012, at his firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Alternatively, if the State Department could not produce the emails in their native format, Judicial Watch requested that the agency produce records that would identify the information contained in the email headers.
The State Department did not respond to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request, even though it acknowledged receiving it on July 9.
Judicial Watch’s lawsuit requests that the court order the State Department to produce the two emails promptly.
A separate Judicial Watch lawsuit forced the State Department to demand that Clinton’s then-top State Department aides, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, return all copies, both electronic and paper, of government records in their position. Notably, the State Department had not demanded the same of Mrs. Clinton, even though federal law also prohibits her from keeping government records.
There remains a question of whether Mrs. Clinton used a email@example.com email address to conduct official State Department business. Although Mrs. Clinton claims that that email address was not created until 2013, the paper copy of the email sent to Jacob Sullivan on July 7, 2012 that was returned by Mrs. Clinton to the State Department shows the “from” email address as firstname.lastname@example.org. The requested native copy or its metadata will definitely answer from what email address the email was sent.
“The State Department is violating federal law in refusing to respond to our simple request about two emails that can answer many questions about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The fact that Mrs. Clinton only provided paper copies of her emails was not accidental. Both she and the State Department have something to hide.”