The Deep State bureaucracies in Washington give awful life to the cliché that “the wheels of justice turn slowly.” Such has been the case with the State Department and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Last year, the FBI uncovered 72,000 pages of documents that Clinton attempted to delete or did not otherwise disclose. The State Department had been processing these documents at a rate that would have required us and the American people to wait until at least 2020 to see them.
Now I’m pleased to tell you that a federal court judge has ordered the State Department to speed up the processing and production of these emails. U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg ordered State to finish processing the remaining documents by September 28, 2018.
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 our 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 Departmentemployees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-government email address.
The court also ordered the State Department to identify and explain the basis for all documents withheld in full – 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.
Here is some background. 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, we 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 …” Ultimately, JW’s pressure and continued court oversight led to getting the State Department to get on the ball and begin producing records in a timely manner.
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. Our 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.