Watchdog Wants More|Info on Clinton Emails

     WASHINGTON (CN) — The conservative watchdog group gnawing at Hillary Clinton over her email server wants more documents from the State Department about the agency’s management of email records.
     Judicial Watch filed two new Freedom of Information Act lawsuits Friday against the State Department, claiming that the agency has failed to meet mandated deadlines for production of the requested documents.
     “These are documents that reflect on how this scandal came about and we want to see them,” Thomas Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said in an interview.
     Clinton’s assertion that she was told a private email server would be more convenient and that she never talked to anyone at the agency about it does not pass muster with Fitton.
     “If you’re keeping government records about what you’re doing for the taxpayer on a separate system that is not being managed as the law requires, that’s a problem,” Fitton said.
     According to the two 4-page complaints, the group wants information about an email exchange referenced in a May 2016 Office of Inspector General report titled “Office of the Secretary: Evaluation of Email Records Management and Cybersecurity Requirements.”
     Judicial Watch also wants information about a 2009 State Department memorandum from Patrick F. Kennedy, the agency’s undersecretary for management, about preserving the emails of senior officials after they leave the agency which is purportedly also included in the Inspector General report.
     The conservative advocacy group, which has compiled a trove of documents on Clinton, has also asked for secretarial transition background materials provided to Hillary Clinton, along with former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, and any information about changes made to those materials since 1997.
     Fitton says the documents will shed light on the “various excuses and explanations” given for Clinton’s use of a private email server, as well as any breakdowns in bureaucracy associated with it.
     “They will provide more detail about who knew what and when,” he said.
     The Justice Department officially closed its year-long investigation of Clinton’s email practices while she served as Secretary of State on July 6, just one day after FBI Director James Comey told Congress that her handling of email was extremely careless but did not warrant criminal charges.
     Judicial Watch filed the lawsuits the same day that Clinton said she may have “short-circuited” answers she gave about the email controversy during two recent interviews. Clinton had told Fox News that Comey had called answers she gave during a closed-door interview with the FBI truthful, after host Chris Wallace suggested that Comey said she has been untruthful with the American people.
     According to Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact, Comey testified before Congress on July 7 that he was unqualified to say whether Clinton had lied to the public.
     What Comey did say was “We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.”
     Clinton said she may have short-circuited those answers while fielding press questions after a talk she gave at a national conference for black and Hispanic journalists in Washington on Friday.
     The email scandal continues to dog Clinton’s campaign, even after she accepted the historic nomination as the Democratic Party’s first female presidential nominee.
     And Judicial Watch seems primed to keep the issue in the public eye. The watchdog group was recently granted discovery in its FOIA lawsuit against Clinton.
     “We think it’s now appropriate for Clinton to be deposed,” Fitton said.
     Judicial Watch filed a motion to depose Clinton. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan heard oral arguments during a hearing on the motion July 17, but it is unclear when he will issue a ruling.
     A State Department representative said in an email that the department does not comment on pending litigation.

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