Federal judge orders discovery in Clinton email case

An angry federal judge ordered the State and Justice Departments to cooperate with Judicial Watch in submitting a proposed schedule of discovery in JW's suit alleging that Hillary Clinton sought to evade the Freedom of Information Act by utilizing a private email server.

The importance of this victory cannot be overstated. In ordering the two agencies to cooperate, the judge is accusing both of colluding with Hillary Clinton to cover up what they knew about the private server.

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch:

In a ruling excoriating both the U.S. Departments of State and Justice, U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth has ordered both agencies to join us in submitting a proposed schedule for discovery into whether Hillary Clinton sought to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a private email system and whether the State Department acted in “bad faith” by failing to disclose knowledge of the email system.
The decision comes in our FOIA lawsuit related to the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Lamberth pulled no punches in his written decision:

… the Court ORDERS the parties to meet and confer to plan discovery into (a) whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email while Secretary of State was an intentional attempt to evade FOIA; (b) whether the State Department’s attempts to settle this case in late 2014 and early 2015 amounted to bad faith; and (c) whether State has adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s requests.

Lamberth termed Clinton's use of a private email server, “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency."

… his [President Barack Obama’s] State and Justice Departments fell far short. So far short that the court questions, even now, whether they are acting in good faith. Did Hillary Clinton use her private email as Secretary of State to thwart this lofty goal [Obama announced standard for transparency]? Was the State Department’s attempt to settle this FOIA case in 2014 an effort to avoid searching – and disclosing the existence of – Clinton’s missing emails? And has State ever adequately searched for records in this case?


At best, State’s attempt to pass-off its deficient search as legally adequate during settlement negotiations was negligence born out of incompetence. At worst, career employees in the State and Justice Departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this Court. (emphasis mine).


There's more. If Obama defenders are going to accuse critics of his administration's Benghazi narrative of being "conspiracy theorists," they are going to have to include Judge Lamberth in that number as well:

The Court granted discovery because the government’s response to the Judicial Watch Benghazi FOIA request for Clinton emails “smacks of outrageous conduct.”

Citing an email (uncovered as a result of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit) that Hillary Clinton acknowledged that Benghazi was a terrorist attack immediately after it happened, Judge Lamberth asked:

Did State know Clinton deemed the Benghazi attack terrorism hours after it happened, contradicting the Obama Administration’s subsequent claim of a protest-gone-awry?


Did the Department merely fear what might be found? Or was State’s bungling just the unfortunate result of bureaucratic redtape and a failure to communicate? To preserve the Department’s integrity, and to reassure the American people their government remains committed to transparency and the rule of law, this suspicion cannot be allowed to fester.

Withholding documents, "bungling," "outrageous conduct," - it appears that Lamberth isn't buying the State Department's efforts to fufill JW's request for records as being sincere and in good faith.

But we knew all this at the time. The judge is only confirming what has long been suspected; that Justice and State Departments were in the tank for Hillary Clinton and covering for her egregious lawbreaking in maintaining a private server that turned out to have classified documents on it.

It's unclear what can be done at this late date except to expose Hillary Clinton's negligence and criminal activity once and for all. This important ruling has already disappeared down the media rabbit hole, so it won't get nearly the attention it deserves. But in the end, the information will be out there for any fair minded person not drunk with partisanship to see.

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