Another bombshell: Judicial Watch has obtained proof that the Obama White House was fully cognizant of the lies about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email use.
On Friday, Judicial Watch announced that they have obtained 44 pages of records from the State Department through court-ordered discovery that show the Obama administration was keeping tabs on a December 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). The FOIA request sought records pertaining to Clinton’s use of an unsecure, non-government email system.
The newly obtained records indicate White House involvement months before the State Department responded to the request, falsely stating that no such records existed.
The Judicial Watch effort resulted in U.S District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordering Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides, as well as E.W. Priestap, to be deposed or answer written questions under oath. The court ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”
Pages of emails were recovered showing dialogue between the White House and State Department. What isn’t revealed is exactly why the White House was interested in the request. But Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton has a theory. “These documents suggest the Obama White House knew about the Clinton email lies being told to the public at least as early as December 2012,” he said. “The Obama White House orchestrated the Clinton email cover-up.”
It’s now clear that if the State Department had honestly filled the CREW’s FOIA request, the public would have learned much earlier than we did that Clinton used [email protected] as her email address that was hosted on a private server while she was at the State Department. It was not until March 2015 that this was made public in a New York Times article.
As soon as the CREW FOIA was received, an official at the State Department notified two top aides of Clinton–Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson. Both of them communicated directly with Clinton on her personal account.
The first evidence of White House knowledge of the FOIA request came eight days after it was submitted.
Sheryl Walter, the State Department official in charge of FOIA requests, emailed State Department officials:
WH called – have we received a FOIA request from CREW (Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington) on the topic of personal use of email by senior officials? Apparently other agencies have. If we have it, can you give me the details so I can call the WH back? I think they’d like it on quick turnaround.Thanks! Sheryl
Walter subsequently emailed Samuelson telling her of the FOIA request. “As a practical matter given our workload, it won’t be processed for some months,” she wrote. “Let me know if there are any particular sensitivities.”
In January 2013 Walter participated in a conference call with Samuelson and State Department official Karen Finnegan, to discuss the FOIA request. It is unknown what was discussed during the conference call, as the State Department has refused to discuss it.
Three days after the conference call, Walter emailed Samuelson again asking if she had learned how other government agencies were responding to CREW’s FOIA requests. She wrote: “(D)id you ever get any intell re what other agencies are doing re this FOIA request that seeks records about the number of email accounts associated with the Secretary (but isn’t specifying ‘personal’ email accounts so we are interpreting as official accounts only). We are considering contacting the requester to find out exactly what it is they are looking for. Do you have any-concerns about that approach?”
Samuelson replied, “White House Counsel was looking into this for me. I will circle back with them now to see if they have further guidance.”
Four months later, the State Department finally responded to CREW saying that there were “no responsive records” for the request.
Samuelson and Mills later directed the review of Clinton’s emails to determine which were deemed related to State Department work. They gave 30,000 emails to the State Department in December 2014. Another 30,000 were deleted.
Clinton initially denied that any of the emails contained classified information, but a review of the documents found that to be false, as thousands of Clinton’s emails contained classified information.
James Comey called Clinton’s use of a private server “extremely careless,” but chose not to bring charges against her.
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