The Corner

Court Rejects State Department Proposal to Delay Production of Clinton E-mails

Many members of the press, as Jonah points out, apparently do not mind being trifled with, but federal judges are a different story.

A U.S. district court has rejected the State Department’s proposal to delay until next year the release of former secretary Hillary Clinton’s e-mails – at least the ones she deigned to turn over to the government after lawlessly conducting government business over a private server and destroying tens of thousands of other emails.

Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports that Judge Rudolph Contreras announced earlier today that the State Department must disclose Mrs. Clinton’s e-mails on a “rolling production” basis. As Jim noted earlier, the State Department had proposed to withhold disclosure for now and mass-produce all 55,000 emails on January 15, 2016 – seven months from now.

Besides undermining governmental recordkeeping requirements, Mrs. Clinton’s practices frustrated the disclosure mandates of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – as Mrs. Clinton, a lawyer who has held important federal offices for many years had to know they would. E-mails that should have been disclosed years ago in response to lawful FOIA requests and court litigation in which the State Department was involved have been withheld. It is little surprise, then, that the judges, having been toyed with, are starting to say, “Enough is enough.”

The Politico report explains:

[T]he judge gave the government one week to provide a schedule for the periodic release of records[.]… Contreras also gave State one week to say exactly when it plans to release a portion of the records relating to the deadly attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, as well as other Libya related issues. State officials have previously pledged to release those emails “soon,” but have never offered a specific date.

The court order came in a FOIA lawsuit brought by Vice News. Politico says the emails related to Benghazi were already turned over to a House committee (presumably, the select committee chaired by Repesentative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) that is investigating Benghazi.

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