State Department Pressed Over Clinton Email Docs

     WASHINGTON (CN) – A freelance journalist sued the State Department demanding it explain how Hillary Clinton’s private attorney, David Kendall, got permission to retain copies of her emails while Secretary of States after the agency deemed some of them classified.
     In a complaint filed in D.C. Federal Court, journalist David Brown, a former Army paratrooper, says he filed a Freedom of Information Act request through his attorney on Aug. 7, asking the State Department to deliver all records related to its decision to turn Clinton’s emails over to Kendall.
     “It was recently reported that the State Department authorized private attorney David Kendall to maintain potentially classified State Department records at his own firm, out of the control of the … department,” Brown’s request said, according to the complaint.
     “Allowing a private lawyer to maintain potentially classified records is virtually unprecedented and on behalf of my client David Brown, I request under FOIA all records about this decision,” the request continued.
     The State Department acknowledged it received the request, but has not taken any further action on it, allowing the 20-day period for a response mandated by the Act to expire, Brown says.
     Clinton’s use of a private email account during her time as secretary of state has become national news since The New York Times broke the story in March. The State Department has since published about 25 percent of these emails online through a series of court-mandated releases.
     The latest release contained 125 redacted or partially-redacted classified emails, and the release before that included at least 60, according to the State Department and Washington Times.
     Kendall turned the thumb drive over to the Justice Department on Aug. 6, about a month after Brown says State Department employees installed a safe for storing the thumb drive in Kendall’s office at Williams and Connolly in Washington.
     Kel McClanahan, who represents Brown, said the request is not for a specific document Brown is sure exists, but that it would be surprising if the department did not generate any documents at all in the process of deciding to allow Kendall to hold the thumb drive.
     “I can’t tell you there’s a memo out there that we know about,” McClanahan said.
     He said he expects the suit to continue in the courts and anticipates fights over the State Department’s redactions and limited searches.
     But through the legal fight McClanahan said he simply hopes to uncover a clear answer to the question of how the State Department granted a private attorney’s wish to hold potentially classified information for himself.
     “He won, and my hat’s off to him for that,” MClanahan said. “I just want to know why he won.”

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