Tom Fitton would not give up when everyone told him to quit and Hillary Clinton is furious. Because Tom just scored a huge win in federal court and the judge is demanding the DOJ reopen a portion of Hillary Clinton’s email case.
The judge in a sharply worded decision ripped Obama’ss DOJ and State Department (and Trump’s) for what they did and did not do during this devastating scandal.
From The Washington Post: A U.S. judge ordered the Justice and State departments Thursday to reopen an inquiry into whether Hillary Clinton used a private email server while secretary of state to deliberately evade public records laws and to answer whether the agencies acted in bad faith by not telling a court for months that they had asked in mid-2014 for missing emails to be returned.
The order risks reopening partisan wounds that have barely healed since Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential bid, but in issuing the order Thursday, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act required it.
In a narrow but sharply worded 10-page opinion, Lamberth wrote that despite the government’s claimed presumption of transparency, “faced with one of the gravest modern offenses to government openness, [the Obama administration’s] State and Justice departments fell far short” of the law’s requirements in a lawsuit for documents.
Lamberth wrote he took no pleasure in “questioning the intentions of the nation’s most august” Cabinet departments but said it was necessary when their response “smacks of outrageous misconduct.”
At best, Lamberth said the government’s actions reflect “negligence born of incompetence,” adding, “At worst, career employees in the State and Justice departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this court.”
From Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch announced today that, in a ruling excoriating both the U.S. Departments of State and Justice, U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth has ordered both agencies to join Judicial Watch in submitting a proposed schedule for discovery into whether Hillary Clinton sought to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a private email system and whether the State Department acted in “bad faith” by failing to disclose knowledge of the email system. The decision comes in a FOIA lawsuit related to the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Specially, Lamberth ruled:
… the Court ORDERS the parties to meet and confer to plan discovery into (a) whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email while Secretary of State was an intentional attempt to evade FOIA; (b) whether the State Department’s attempts to settle this case in late 2014 and early 2015 amounted to bad faith; and (c) whether State has adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s requests.
Terming Clinton’s use of her private email system, “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency,” Lamberth wrote in his MEMORANDUM OPINION:
… his [President Barack Obama’s] State and Justice Departments fell far short. So far short that the court questions, even now, whether they are acting in good faith. Did Hillary Clinton use her private email as Secretary of State to thwart this lofty goal [Obama announced standard for transparency]? Was the State Department’s attempt to settle this FOIA case in 2014 an effort to avoid searching – and disclosing the existence of – Clinton’s missing emails? And has State ever adequately searched for records in this case?
At best, State’s attempt to pass-off its deficient search as legally adequate during settlement negotiations was negligence born out of incompetence. At worst, career employees in the State and Justice Departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this Court.
Turning his attention to the Department of Justice, Lamberth wrote:
The current Justice Department made things worse. When the government last appeared before the Court, counsel claimed, ‘it is not true to say we misled either Judicial Watch or the Court.’ When accused of ‘doublespeak,’ counsel denied vehemently, feigned offense, and averred complete candor. When asked why State masked the inadequacy of its initial search, counsel claimed that the officials who initially responded to Judicial Watch’s request didn’t realize Clinton’s emails were missing, and that it took them two months to ‘figure  out what was going on’… Counsel’s responses strain credulity.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) December 6, 2018
Court Excoriates Obama State Department/Justice Department for Possibly Acting in “Bad Faith” and Colluding “to Scuttle Public Scrutiny” of Clinton Private Email Server https://t.co/MsGnTnyQvv pic.twitter.com/ICfHM6Gavu
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) December 6, 2018