A federal judge ripped the State Department during a court hearing this week and accused officials there of helping to cover up former Secretary Hillary Clinton's unlawful use of a private email server. The judge also took aim at the current Department of Justice.
From Judicial Watch (bolding is mine):
Judicial Watch announced today that, 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 Judicial Watch 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 a FOIA lawsuit related to the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Terming Clinton’s use of her private email system, “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency,” Lamberth wrote in his MEMORANDUM OPINION:
… 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.
Lambert accused DOJ attorneys of "double speak" and "misleading" the court on the same issue.
“The historic court ruling raises concerns about the Hillary Clinton email scandal and government corruption that millions of Americans share,"Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton released in a statement. “Judicial Watch looks forward to conducting careful discovery into the Clinton email issue and we hope the Justice Department and State Department recognize Judge Lamberth’s criticism and help, rather than obstruct, this court-ordered discovery.”