Judge Orders State Department To Search for Clinton’s Benghazi Emails
A federal judge has ordered the State Department look again to find emails Hillary Clinton wrote about the Benghazi attack.
U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled that the State Department had not done enough to try to track down messages Clinton may have sent about the assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound on Sept. 11, 2012 — an attack that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
As reported by Politico:
In response to Freedom of Information Act requests, State searched the roughly 30,000 messages Clinton turned over to her former agency at its request in December 2014 after officials searching for Benghazi-related records realized she had used a personal email account during her four-year tenure as secretary.
State later searched tens of thousands of emails handed over to the agency by three former top aides to Clinton: Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan. Finally, State searched a collection of emails the FBI assembled when it was investigating Clinton’s use of the private account and server.
In all, State found 348 Benghazi-related messages or documents that were sent to or from Clinton in a period of nearly five months after the attack.
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch argued that the search wasn’t good enough because State never tried to search its own systems for relevant messages in the official email accounts of Clinton’s top aides. A central premise of Mehta’s ruling is that the State Department’s servers archived emails from Clinton’s top aides.
In a 10-page ruling issued Tuesday, Mehta — an Obama appointee — agreed with Judicial Watch writing,
To date, State has searched only data compilations originating from outside sources — Secretary Clinton, her former aides, and the FBI. … It has not, however, searched 8 the one records system over which it has always had control and that is almost certain to contain some responsive records: the state.gov e-mail server.
Mehta concluded that the circumstances surrounding Clinton’s email represented “a specific fact pattern unlikely to arise in the future.
This is but the latest victory for Judicial Watch in its ongoing efforts to retrieve email communications of Clinton during her time as Secretary of State. The State Department has been slow-roiling the processing of the 100,000 emails Clinton failed to disclose when she served as Secretary of State, some of which were emails sent by Clinton aide Huma Abedin that were subsequently found on the laptop of her estranged husband Anthony Weiner.
Even when ordered to produce documents to Judicial Watch, the State Department has moved as slowly as possible processing only 500 pages per month of emails uncovered by the FBI in its investigation into Clinton’s non-government email system. At the current pace, the Clinton emails and other records won’t be fully available for possible release until at least 2020.
As we all know, Clinton attempted to delete 33,000 emails from her non-government server, and it is hoped that some of the contents of those conversations may be found on State government servers, along with anything else of pertinence.
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