Getting Clinton's Emails: Lawsuits, FOIAs From Associated Press and Judicial Watch Issued to State Department

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Mar 11, 2015 4:00 PM
Getting Clinton's Emails: Lawsuits, FOIAs From Associated Press and Judicial Watch Issued to State Department

The list of organizations lining up to get their hands on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails is getting longer. Earlier today the Associated Press, whose reporters were spied on by the Department of Justice last year, issued a lawsuit against the State Department for emails containing official government business under Clinton's private server. 

The Associated Press filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the State Department to force the release of email correspondence and government documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

The legal action comes after repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have gone unfulfilled. They include one request AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, comes a day after Clinton broke her silence about her use of a private email account while secretary of state. The FOIA requests and lawsuit seek materials related to her public and private calendars, correspondence involving longtime aides likely to play key roles in her expected campaign for president, and Clinton-related emails about the Osama bin Laden raid and National Security Agency surveillance practices.

On Monday, government watchdog organization Judicial Watch issued a series of FOIA requests to the State Department for specific information in Clinton's emails and warned if the requests went unfulfilled, that lawsuits will follow.

Judicial Watch announced today that it submitted six Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Department of State seeking information about Hillary Clinton’s and other State Department employees’ uses of secret email accounts to conduct government business. Judicial Watch submitted the FOIA requests on Friday, March 6, 2015, seeking:

-Communications between employees of the U.S. Department of State and former Secretary Clinton and/or her representatives relating to emails sent or received by former Secretary Clinton on non- “state.gov” email addresses: from June 1, 2014, to the present.

-Records concerning the use of a non-­ “state.gov” email address by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Including records concerning security, classification, preservation, and compliance with the Federal Records Act and/or the Freedom of Information Act: from January 20, 2009, to February 20, 2009.
-Records that identify the number and names of all current and former officials, officers, or employees of the State Department from January 20, 2009, to the present who used email addresses other than their assigned “state.gov” email addresses to conduct official State Department business.
-Records that identify the policies and/or procedures in place to ensure that emails that were sent or received by officials, officers, or employees of the U.S. Department of State who used email addresses other than “state.gov” email addresses to conduct official State Department business were searched for responsiveness to FOIA requests.
-Communications between employees of the Department of State and officials or employees of the White House and/or Executive Office of the President relating to the use of non- “state.gov” email addresses by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: from June 1, 2014, to the present.
-Communications between officials or employees of the Department of State and Members of Congress or -Congressional staff, or Congressional Members or staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi relating to the use of non- “state.gov” email addresses by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: from June 1, 2014, to the present.

The State Department lawfully must provide these documents, or a justification for withholding them, to Judicial Watch within 20 working days, or be subject to federal lawsuits under FOIA.

During a press conference yesterday, Clinton said her private server, where the personal email accounts she used for government business were hosted, will remain private. As the AP lawsuit and requests from Judicial Watch move through the court system, it will be interesting to see just how private a federal judge believes Clinton's emails containing official government business really are. 

Meanwhile, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi Trey Gowdy (R-SC) wants Clinton to testify under oath in front of Congress about the email fiasco.