Election 2016 is over, and the losing candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton, is free to wind up her campaign apparatus and take on other personal ventures.
But her email scandal, which played a major role in the election battle, isn’t going away anytime soon.
The newest legal move by Judicial Watch, which was at the center of exposing the emails from the beginning, is asking a court to rule that the State Department should released withheld emails because they pertain to government “misconduct.”
The organization confirmed this week in a lawsuit that dates back to 2015 that it is asking a federal court to reject State Department secrecy claims “over certain Clinton email-related document on the grounds that the documents relate to government misconduct.”
There are about 30 known emails being withheld for various reasons, including “deliberative process” and “work product.”
The lawsuit, launched in May last year, seeks emails “sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as secretary of state, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-‘state.gov’ email address.”
Judicial Watch argues the emails should be released because “Clinton’s email practices at the State Department constitute misconduct.”
“The U.S. federal government has produced two State Department Inspector General reports and a report following an FBI investigation, which collectively support the conclusion that, at a minimum, the unofficial server arrangement was misconduct even if it was not a prosecutable violation of criminal law. … Clinton herself has called the unofficial server arrangement a ‘mistake,’” the organization said.
Judicial Watch said the State Department itself has suggested the documents in question may have misled the public by suggesting a “false equivalence” between Clinton’s handling of classified emails and the “records management practices of former Secretaries Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeline Albright.”
“No one believes that Madeline Albright used an unofficial server located at her residence for government communications,” the argument stated. “Nor did Colin Powell hold 30,000 government records in his possession for two years after he left the State Department.
“It would appear that one purpose of the withheld discussions in this case was to manage the public messaging about government misconduct so as to mislead the public about its severity,” the group argued.
Judicial Watch said the court should knock down the State Department’s efforts to shield documents because of the indications of “government misconduct.”
A hearing is set for Nov. 29 in U.S, District Court for the District of Columbia before Judge James. E. Boasberg.
The original FBI investigation concluded in July without charges, even though FBI chief James Comey said Clinton had been “extremely careless,” sending national security information through an unsecured private email server.
But a little more than one week before the election, emails were found on a laptop computer to which both Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was being investigated in a sexting case, had access.
Comey informed Republican members of Congress he needed to time review the new information, but two days before Election Day he announced the conclusion he reached in July had not changed.
WND reported also weeks earlier on evidence that Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, Cheryl Mills, may have received classified national security information through one of two or three personal, unsecured email accounts she regularly used to communicate with Abedin.
The evidence was in a cache of emails released by Judicial Watch, as well in Clinton-related emails attached as exhibits to the deposition Judicial Watch took with Mills in a lawsuit regarding Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.
Approximately 10 percent of Abedin’s emails released through Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act requests were addressed to one of Mills’ various personal email addresses.
Several were found to contain such highly sensitive material that the State Department redacted 100 percent of the content pages, marking many pages with a bold stamp reading “PAGE DENIED.”
WND reported Aug. 26 that of the more than 160 emails in that Judicial Watch release, some 110 emails were forwarded by Abedin to two personal addresses she controlled.
The Washington Times reported in August 2015 that the State Department had admitted to a federal judge that Abedin and Mills used personal email accounts to conduct government business in addition to Clinton’s private clintonemail.com to transact State Department business.