State Department Ordered to Disclose “Deleted” Clinton Records—-51fh.b43
My Judicial Watch attorney colleagues appeared today in federal court for a hearing into how quickly Judicial Watch and the American people can see the Hillary Clinton emails recovered by the FBI that Clinton deleted or otherwise did not turn over to the State Department.
Any and all emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as Secretary of State during her tenure as Secretary of State.
The timeframe for this request is February 2, 2009 to January 31, 2013.
The State Department recently agreed to search and produce to Judicial Watch all responsive, non-exempt emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that were uncovered by the FBI in its investigation of Clinton and her use of off-grid email system.
In fact, the State Department today confirmed that the FBI discovered 15,100 new Clinton emails. In late October, Judge Boasberg ordered the State Department to report to the court the volume of records from disk one (of seven at issue) that it has reviewed and be prepared to commit to a production schedule for today’s hearing.
Today’s hearing resulted in a decision by Judge James Boasberg ordering the Department of State to begin processing at least 1,050 pages of Hillary Clinton emails recovered by the FBI and provide Judicial Watch all non-exempt documents before November 4.
The State Department admitted that it has 5,600 Clinton emails recovered by the FBI that were government documents and not personal emails as she claimed. The public deserves to know what is in those emails, well before November 8, and the State Department should not continue dragging its feet on producing them. The State Department admitted in court today it pulled staff off of Clinton email Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The American people need to pressure State to stop sitting on these new Clinton emails for political reasons and release them as the law requires. It is outrageous the State Department has had these new Clinton emails since late July, but has only released 5 records.
The court ordered State to process the first 350 pages of documents by October 7, the second 350 pages by October 21, and the third by November 4. (The State Department claims a substantial number of the Clinton emails may be duplicative or near-duplicative of emails Hillary Clinton previously turned over to the State Department.)
The Wall Street Journal reported our reaction right after this morning’s hearing:
After the judge’s order, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that “the American people could be deprived of this information at this essential time.”
“This is an absolutely corrupt process the State Department has come up with,” he said, blaming the department for the continuing delays.
But thanks only to JW, there are potentially many more emails that will be available despite Hillary Clinton’s email delete-a-thon. We’ll be sure to update you when we finally begin receiving material next month.
More Testimony Set in Clinton Email Scandal
The quest for the truth and accountability in the Clinton email scandal is far from over. Our attorneys have just the deposition of the John Bentel left, the State Department’s former Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat (“S/ES-IRM”), the office that handles information technology for the Office of the Secretary. The deposition ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan is scheduled for October 24 at 10am. You should also know that our legal team and Hillary Clinton’s attorneys agreed that Hillary Clinton would have two additional weeks – until October 13 — to produce written, sworn answers under oath to pending Judicial Watch questions.
Judicial Watch requested Bentel’s deposition as part of a request for additional discovery into the Clinton email matter. In Judge Sullivan’s August 19, 2016, ruling granting the Judicial Watch’s request, the judge cited significant discrepancies in Bentel’s previous statements on the Clinton non-state.gov email system:
The Court is persuaded that Mr. Bentel should be deposed because the record in this case appears to contradict his sworn testimony before the [House Select] Benghazi Committee. . . . Specifically, Mr. Bentel testified that he was not aware that Secretary Clinton’s email account was housed on a private server until media reports in 2015. . . . However, several emails indicate Mr. Bentel knew about the private server as early as 2009.
Judge Sullivan also wrote that Bentel should be deposed because a May, 2016 State Department Office Inspector General’s report found: Mr. Bentel told employees in his office that Secretary Clinton’s email arrangement had been approved by the State Department’s legal staff and also instructed his subordinates not to discuss the Secretary’s email again.
In one meeting, one staff member raised concerns that information sent and received on Secretary Clinton’s account could contain Federal records that needed to be preserved in order to satisfy Federal recordkeeping requirements. According to the staff member, the Director stated that the Secretary’s personal system had been reviewed and approved by Department legal staff and that the matter was not to be discussed any further. . . . According to the other S/ES-IRM staff member who raised concerns about the server, the Director stated that the mission of S/ES-IRM is to support the Secretary and instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again.
We’ll also be soon getting sworn answers from Hillary Clinton. On August 30, we submitted questions to her concerning her email practices. Clinton’s answers, under oath, were due on September 29. But Hillary Clinton requested from Judicial Watch two additional weeks to respond because of the unavailability of counsel and the press of campaign business, among other reasons. Her sworn answers are now due October 13. (Judge Sullivan orderedClinton to answer the questions “by no later than thirty days thereafter….” )
The Bentel deposition and Clinton discovery questions arise in a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit first filed in September 2013 seeking records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
Judicial Watch has already taken the deposition testimony of seven Clinton aides and State Department officials.
So you can see how our quest to learn the truth about Hillary Clinton’s email scheme is far from over and, in fact, is getting hotter than ever.
source-judicial watch, tom fitton, wsj, john bentel,