Judge blasts attempts to block info release on Hillary’s email scandal

(FILE PHOTO by Getty)

During a court hearing last month regarding the State Department’s proven attempts to cover up former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, a federal judge reportedly excoriated department lawyers for “bureaucratic incompetence” and political posturing.

The case was brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that’s been attempting for years to obtain the full records on Clinton’s infamous email scandal. Likewise, the State Department has for years been stonewalling at every opportunity.

Now fast-forward to Aug. 22, when U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth blasted State Department lawyers over their stonewalling and, more importantly, “granted significant new discovery to Judicial Watch on the Clinton email issue,” according to the watchdog group.

The judge’s angry rant began with him dropping a truth bomb on the attorneys. Their argument had been that discovery in the case should remain closed. But …

All right, first let me clarify the Government’s misunderstanding: We’re not reopening discovery here. Discovery never closed,” he said.

Lamberth continued by blaming the whole situation on the lawyers themselves.

“Remember what got us started down this path in the first place,” he said. “In late 2014 and early 2015, at least some State Department officials knew Secretary Clinton’s emails were missing; they knew Judicial Watch didn’t know that; they knew the Court didn’t know that, but the Department pressed forward trying to settle this case. So I authorized discovery into whether these settlement efforts amounted to bad faith.”

The situation exists because the State Department had been lying from day one. Admittedly, this a complaint Lamberth has issued before, including during another hearing last year.

“The State Department told me it had produced all the records. That was not true at the time. It was not true. It was a lie,” he said at the time.

That particular hearing had been about Clinton’s Benghazi-related emails.

“Now the Government seeks to duck behind an unpublished D.C. Circuit opinion from 2018 holding the Government has already taken every reasonable action under the Federal Records Act to retrieve Clinton’s 30,000 missing emails and no imaginable enforcement action could recover any more,” Lamberth continued during last-month’s hearing.

But that too now appears to be a lie.

Just a week prior to the hearing, the Senate Finance and Homeland Security Committees released documents “revealing Clinton IT aide Paul Combetta copied all but four of the missing emails to a Gmail account that does not appear to have ever been reconstructed and searched.”

And then came the judicial slap heard around the world:

The Court thinks Judicial Watch ought to shake this tree. And the Court agrees with Judicial Watch that it should talk to three never-before-deposed State officials who raised concerns about Clinton’s private email use all the way back to 2009. There is no FOIA exemption for political expedience, nor is there one for bureaucratic incompetence.

But there’s more. The judge also stated that the State Department has handled this case so poorly that Judicial Watch may be entitled to collect attorney fees from it.

Lamberth concluded by stating that his decision isn’t about being harsh on the government but rather about rooting out government misconduct and doing the right thing.

“When I authorized discovery back in December, I described my goal: to rule out egregious government misconduct and vindicate the public’s faith in the State and Justice Departments,” he said. “That’s still my goal today. This isn’t a case I relish, but it’s the case before me now, and it’s a case of the government’s making.”

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton responded with both a lengthy video statement that may be watched below and a smaller, more formal written statement:

“Judicial Watch uncovered new information about the Clinton email scandal that a federal court agrees requires more answers,” his written statement reads.

“We share the court’s annoyance with DOJ lawyers who continue to defend the indefensible. It is beyond disturbing that the State and Justice Departments would continue to try to protect Hillary Clinton and cover up her email scandal. President Trump should order the agencies to cooperate in uncovering the truth.”

The watchdog group has also launched a petition to to “stop the Clinton cover up and expose Obama’s cover up of Clinton’s crimes.”


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Vivek Saxena


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