Judicial Watch announced that the State Department revealed in a federal court hearing that it has yet to process 40,000 of 72,000 pages of Hillary Clinton records that the FBI recovered last year. The revelation came during a federal court hearing in Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails that were sent or received during her tenure from February 2009 to January 31, 2013 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)). The case is before Judge James E. Boasberg.
The hearing focused on the State Department’s progress on processing the tens of thousands of emails Clinton failed to disclose when she served as Secretary of State, some of which were emails sent by Clinton aide Huma Abedin that were found on the laptop of her estranged husband Anthony Weiner. The State Department has processed 32,000 pages of emails so far, a small number of which have been released, but 40,000 pages remain to be processed.
Judicial Watch asked the court to require the State Department to identify any records from the seven FBI discs that it intends to withhold, and why, in a timely manner. The State Department disclosed to the Court that it was adding extra resources to its FOIA operation but would not commit to a faster production of the Clinton emails. On October 19, Judge Boasberg ordered the State Department to “explain how its anticipated increase in resources will affect processing of records in this case and when the processing of each disk is likely to be completed.” Surprisingly, the Tillerson State Department and Sessions Justice Department previously argued to the court that there was diminished public interest in the Clinton emails.
In November 2016, the State Department was ordered to produce no less than 500 pages of records a month to Judicial Watch, emails of which the FBI found in its investigation into Clinton’s non-government email system. The State Department has produced 23 batches of documents so far. At the current pace, the Clinton emails and other records won’t be fully available for possible release until at least 2020.
Clinton attempted to delete 33,000 emails from her non-government server. The FBI investigation recovered or found a number of these missing emails, many of which were government documents.
The lawsuit was originally filed in May 2015.
“Secretary Tillerson should be asked why his State Department is still sitting on a motherlode of Clinton emails,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is disheartening that an administration elected to ‘drain the swamp’ is stalling the release of documents to protect Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.”
In a related lawsuit Judicial Watch recently revealed that the State Department admitted it received 2,800 Huma Abedin work-related documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that were found on her estranged husband Anthony Weiner’s personal laptop. The State Department expects to complete its review and production of the FBI records by December 31, 2017.