(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the recent court order granting Judicial Watch’s request for a hearing this week, on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 12:00 p.m., which had previously been scheduled for September:
The Obama administration’s obstruction of the courts and our Freedom of Information Act litigation must end. The court and the American people are weary of their legal gamesmanship. We are fighting for the public’s right to know what Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin and others were sending and receiving during their four years running the State Department.
Taking [the State Department’s] sworn statement on its face, it appears as though the declarant made no effort whatsoever to find out what electronic devices the former head of the agency and two of her closest advisors used to conduct official government business for four years and where these electronic devices may be located or if they are still in existence.
Similarly, [the State Department] offered no evidence whatsoever concerning servers, backups, or other devices in its possession.
In addition, [the State Department] does not identify whether former Secretary Clinton was provided or used a state.gov email address.
Moreover, only now – more than 18 months after the initial searches were conducted – does [the State Department] disclose that it searched the state.gov email accounts of “two other former employees.”
Because [the State Department] and the three individuals – who apparently are really five individuals – have now failed to comply with the Court’s order and to provide complete answers to basic questions, [Judicial Watch] agrees with the Court’s assessment that a time may come that “other kinds of discovery” would be appropriate. That time may be now.
In response, the court ordered State to provide a report by August 19 and to appear for a hearing on August 20:
In light of the State Department’s August 14, 2015 Status Report and Judicial Watch’s August 17, 2015 reply thereto, a status hearing will be held on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. in Courtroom 24A. The State Department shall file a reply to Judicial Watch’s August 17, 2015 response no later than 12:00 p.m. on August 19, 2015.
The developments come in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about Hillary Clinton’s email records.