"1) While I do not know what information may be "responsive" for purposes of this law suit, I have directed that all my e-mails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were, or potentially were, federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done...."
A federal appeals court recently overruled a lower court decision to throw out a lawsuit brought by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its release to environmental groups of personal information on tens of thousands of farmers. In late 2015, a U.S. district court dismissed the NPPC-Farm Bureau suit for lack of standing. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis ruled that “the associations have established a concrete and particularized injury in fact traceable to the EPA’s action and redressable by judicial relief.”
In a ruling sure to keep the Hillary Clinton email scandal alive through the summer, if not longer, a federal just has granted Judicial Watch the right to take discovery as to whether Hillary’s home server was part of an effort to evade the Freedom of Information (FOIA) law by shifting federal records off-site and into the sole control of Hillary, her attorney’s and consultants.... Given the difficulty of obtaining records, particularly in light of the destruction of at least some records maintained on Hillary’s home server, led Judicial Watch to seek discovery, including depositions of key officials. Such discovery is not routine in FOIA cases, and good cause needs to be shown to obtain discovery.... The Court granted the motion today, via two Minute Orders (meaning orders reflected on the court docket sheet, not separate documents:
The State Department has concluded there is "top secret" material in Hillary Clinton's email correspondence from the time she was secretary of state, indicating that some of her emails will never be released, even in heavily redacted form, because they are too sensitive for the public to view. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the material crosses seven email chains, amounting to 37 pages worth of material.Hillary wants the 22 Top Secret emails released to the public:
The documents were produced under court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit Judicial Watch filed on May 6, 2013 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)). The lawsuit was filed after the Obama State Department violated federal law and failed to respond to two separate FOIA requests, including a request for records about the actual production of the emails records by Clinton to the State Department. The first batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch contains a heavily redacted email from State Department official Eric F. Stein to Margaret P. Grafeld, dated April 21, 2015, with the subject “HRC Emails.” Stein is deputy director of global information systems at the State Department and Grafeld is deputy assistant secretary of global information systems. Stein reports to Grafeld that the “gaps” in Clinton’s emails include:
THE COURT: Right. But assuming, though, in that scenario there wasn’t a violation of government policy either, correct? We’re not talking about a search of anyone’s random e-mail accounts. We’re talking about a search of devices that may have contained official government documents, that’s what we’re talking about. We wouldn’t be here today had the employee followed government policy, right? [transcript at 16]The motion for a stay was in conjunction with a request for appointment of a coordinating judge to handle numerous FOIA cases involving Hillary's emails. While purportedly filed to increase court efficiency, it looked like a naked attempt to take the case away from Judge Sullivan. In a ruling that was just posted, Judge Sullivan denied the motion for a stay, and asserted his right to control his own docket:
MINUTE ORDER. In light of the State Department's August 14, 2015 Status Report and Judicial Watch's August 17, 2015 reply thereto, a status hearing will be held on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. in Courtroom 24A. The State Department shall file a reply to Judicial Watch's August 17, 2015 response no later than 12:00 p.m. on August 19, 2015. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on August 17, 2015. (lcegs4) (Entered: 08/17/2015)In its papers , Judicial Watch says it intends to seek discovery, which normally does not take place in FOIA cases, because of the State Department's non-compliance. (Full embed of Judicial Watch request at bottom of post.) While Judicial Watch has not specified what discovery it seeks to take, "discovery" can include depositions, which are sworn testimony on the record. Other forms of discovery would appear inadequate given the history of the case. Given the players involved, discovery logically would include Hillary, Abedin, and Cheryl Mills, not to mention Hillary's attorney David Kendall as custodian of at least some records. Judicial Watch provided the following statement in response to our inquiry:
“We believe that discovery is now the only way to receive the necessary information, wherever that may lead.”
Two possible explanations exist for EPA's conduct following Landmark Legal Foundations' filing of a Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") request in August 2012. Either EPA intentionally sought to evade Landmark's lawful FOIA request so the agency could destroy responsive documents, or EPA demonstrated apathy and carelessness toward Landmark's request. Either scenario reflects poorly upon EPA and surely serves to diminish the public's trust in the agency.
For those of you who are new to the blog, or who have not been paying attention, Legal Insurrection has filed a FOIA suit against the Distric of Columbia seeking records related to the non-prosecution of David Gregory and NBC News despite their clear violation...
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced on its website today that the Justice Department will release hundreds of pages of documents related to the government's interpretation of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit it had filed. From...
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