According to a missive from the FBI, Hillary Clinton’s privacy outweighs the public’s interest in seeing documents relating to her emails and use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. Attorney Ty Clevenger has sought to have Clinton and her personal lawyers disbarred over their handling of her official emails during her tenure as America’s top diplomat. He made an open-records request in order to pursue punishing Clinton and associates for perjury.

After meeting with resistance from Clinton’s lawyers, the FBI dismissed his request. In an August 28 letter to Clevenger, FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy wrote: “You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject.” 

Hardy continued, “It is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public’s interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA.” 

Clinton’s use of a secret email account to conduct classified State Department affairs was much discussed by the media in 2015 and 2016. Former FBI Director James Comey gave testimony before Congress about the agency’s investigation of Clinton and her email practices. However, the FBI did not ultimately recommend charges against Clinton. The agency concluded that she was not sufficiently familiar with email technology to know the dangers she posed by risking national security by using the non-secure, private email server for her classified communications.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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