Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Judge OKs New Timeline |for Clinton Email Release

WASHINGTON (CN) - The end is in sight for one of the federal court cases involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, though not as near as the plaintiff in the case would like.

The case stems from a Freedom of Information Act request Judicial Watch sent the State Department last March. The conservative legal watchdog is documents related to Clinton's financial relationships with foreign leaders, and the department's attempts to review donations to the Clinton Foundation for conflicts of interest.

Though it did not originally target Clinton's use of a private email server as pointedly as other Judicial Watch cases have, the suit eventually found its way there.

At a hearing Thursday at the D.C. Federal Court, Justice Department attorney Daniel Riess set out a timeline for the State Department to produce newly discovered documents responsive to Judicial Watch's request.

Under the new timeline, the department would release documents starting on March 15, with a second release one month later and a final production on May 18, Riess said.

The timeline is similar to the one the department laid out in a status report last month, but this time included a proposed end date, something Judicial Watch thought to be lacking in the original proposal.

While the group would have preferred a final production in April, Judicial Watch attorney Chris Fedeli somewhat reluctantly accepted the State Department's proposed schedule.

"I think we can live with May," Fedeli told U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras Thursday after consulting with Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who sat at the counsel table.

The State Department admitted in a status report on Feb. 5 that it had overlooked roughly 2,500 documents that could be responsive to Judicial Watch's original request.

The files had been stored in shared office folders the State Department had moved to the Bureau of Administration, and employees answering to Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act request did not think to search for them there, according to the status report.

Riess said the State Department has reviewed 600 to 650 of those documents since Feb. 5, a rate that would allow the department to finish its review by the May 18 deadline.

However, Fedeli said Judicial Watch had "concerns" about the delay, and wanted the State Department to be clear about how many documents remained to be searched.

"We would like to ensure this kind of delay does not continue in this case," Fedeli said.

A federal judge last week ordered discovery to go forward on a separate Judicial Watch case involving Clinton's use of a private email server, and the State Department finished its public production of the emails Monday.

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