A federal judge has ordered the U.S. State and Justice Departments to reopen the case to determine if Hillary Clinton used a private email server to avoid public disclosure laws during her tenure as Secretary of State.
In doing so, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, an appointee of Ronald Reagan, eviscerated the previous administration’s claims of transparency, something President Obama touted throughout his time in the White House.
“Faced with one of the gravest modern offenses to government openness,” Lamberth penned in his opinion, “(the Obama administration’s) State and Justice departments fell far short” of the legal requirements behind the Freedom of Information Act.
The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, seeking emails related to the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.
Both departments have spent years trying to avoid disclosure of those emails.
Judge shreds State and Justice Departments under Obama
Lamberth said the order to provide the relevant records requested was necessary to rule out “egregious government misconduct,” in the departments’ efforts to avoid disclosing them.
Instant Hero: Judge Royce Lamberth tells DOJ & State Dept to reopen Clinton email case. Says their behavior “smacks of outrageous misconduct.” Also says they “colluded” to hoodwink the court to “skirt scrutiny” of HRC. https://t.co/t33LXprxeY
— Emerald Robinson (@EmeraldRobinson) December 7, 2018
“At worst, career employees in the State and Justice departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this court,” Lamberth wrote.
Judicial Watch responds
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton expressed hope that the two federal departments under current leadership would finally be compelled to provide the documents they have been demanding.
“The historic court ruling raises concerns about the Hillary Clinton email scandal and government corruption that millions of Americans share,” Fitton said.
“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.”
It should be noted though, that the State Department under Trump still has Obama holdovers avoiding disclosure.
Federal judge says the State Department provided false statements to derail lawsuits over Hillary Clinton’s private email server pic.twitter.com/X7Tw5czGhM
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) October 18, 2018
Lamberth, in October, accused State Department officials of lying and signing “clearly false” affidavits in an attempt to prevent watchdog groups from attaining information on Clinton’s private email server.
He added that certain elements of the department’s attempts to derail the case had left him “shocked” and “dumbfounded.”
Aside from concerns over her emails containing classified material and the fact that the server was hacked by foreign adversaries, Hillary’s efforts to avert sunlight to her activities has long been a concern. What was she hiding?
This is, after all, a woman who claimed to use the server for wedding planning and yoga scheduling purposes, then deleted thousands of emails, used BleachBit to destroy the remaining, and then used hammers to destroy devices.
Will those hidden emails finally be brought to light?
Lamberth ordered both sides to develop a plan of discovery to locate the requested material and report within 10 days.