In a Thursday press release, Judicial Watch announced that a federal court judge ordered the State Department to speed up processing and production of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails. U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg recently ordered the State Department to complete processing the remaining documents that were recovered by the FBI in its investigation into Clinton’s illicit email server by September 28, 2018. The Court’s latest order accelerates State’s production rate which would have continued until 2020.
Last year, the FBI uncovered 72,000 pages of documents Clinton attempted to delete or did not otherwise disclose. The State Department had been processing the documents at a rate that would have required Judicial Watch and the American people to wait until at least 2020 to see all the releasable Clinton material.
Prior to the FBI investigation, Clinton repeatedly stated that the 55,000 pages of documents she turned over to the State Department in December 2014 included all of her work-related emails. In response to a court order in another Judicial Watch case, she declared under penalty of perjury that she had “directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or are potentially federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.” Clinton failed to turn over at least 627 emails in that 55,000-page production, further contradicting a statement by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails had been turned over to department.
Judge Boasberg’s November 30 order came in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on May 6, 2015, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)) seeking:
All emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as Secretary of State, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-“state.gov” email address.
The court also ordered the State Department to identify and explain the basis for all documents withheld in full from both the 55,000 pages of emails turned over by Clinton and the 72,000 pages of records recovered by the FBI which have been processed thus far by April 6, 2018.
“How ironic it is that the Trump State Department had to be ordered by a federal court to stop slow-rolling the release of Clinton emails,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act lawsuits – not Congress or the media – uncovered Clinton’s email cover-up and related crimes. Now it is up to the Justice Department to finally follow up with an honest and independent investigation.”
In November 2016, Judge Boasberg ordered the State Department to process no less than 500 pages a month of records responsive to Judicial Watch’s request. The following year, in October 2017, Judicial Watch asked the court to increase the State Department’s processing requirement noting that under its current pace of production, the Clinton emails would not be completely released until at least 2020. At the October 2017 hearing, the State Department reported to the court that they were revamping their FOIA processing and reallocating resources. Judge Boasberg then issued an order instructing the State Department to explain “how its anticipated increase in resources will affect processing of records in this case …”
In a related case, Judicial Watch found at least 18 classified emails in 806 documents recently produced by the State Department from the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s elicit email system. The emails were found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, who is the husband of former Clinton aide Huma Abedin.