U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order late Friday afternoon ordering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and two of her most intimate State Department aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, to account for, under penalty of perjury, their use of Clinton’s ‘home-brew’ server kept at her Chappaqua, New York home during Clinton’s four-year tenure as secretary, as well as any official documents in their possession.
The order came in a FOIA lawsuit by Judicial Watch that was re-opened by Judge Sullivan in June after Clinton’s circumvention of the FOIA laws was revealed when news broke of her use of the private server.
Judicial Watch posted the text of the ruling. (Paragraphs added.)
As agreed by the parties at the July 31, 2015 status hearing, the Government shall produce a copy of the letters sent by the State Department to Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Ms. Huma Abedin and Ms. Cheryl Mills regarding the collection of government records in their possession.
These communications shall be posted on the docket forthwith. The Government has also agreed to share with Plaintiff’s counsel the responses sent by Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills. These communications shall also be posted on the docket forthwith.
In addition, as related to Judicial Watch’s FOIA requests in this case, the Government is HEREBY ORDERED to: (1) identify any and all servers, accounts, hard drives, or other devices currently in the possession or control of the State Department or otherwise that may contain responsive information;
(2) request that the above named individuals confirm, under penalty of perjury, that they have produced all responsive information that was or is in their possession as a result of their employment at the State Department. If all such information has not yet been produced, the Government shall request the above named individuals produce the information forthwith;
and (3) request that the above named individuals describe, under penalty of perjury, the extent to which Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills used Mrs. Clinton’s email server to conduct official government business.
The Government shall inform the Court of the status of its compliance with this Order no later than August 7, 2015, including any response received from Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 31, 2015.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton issued a statement on the ruling.
This blockbuster ruling is the most significant legal development to date in the ongoing Clinton email scandal. Hillary Clinton will now have to answer, under penalty of perjury, to a federal court about the separate email server she and her aides used to avoid accountability to the American people.
This court action shows that the rule of law and public’s right to know will no longer take a back seat to politics. Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration that is covering for her are not above the law.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has apologized for telling Congress the National Security Agency doesn’t gather data on millions of Americans.
The apology comes after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden gave top-secret information to newspapers that last month published stories about the federal government collecting the data from phone calls and such Internet communications as emails.
Clapper apologized in a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein that was posted Tuesday on the website of Clapper’s office.
Clapper said in the June 21 letter that his answer was “clearly erroneous.”
Americans have long known the United States implemented surveillance programs under the Patriot Act, in the wake of 9/11, with the goal of preventing more terror attacks, and that the programs targeted foreign and overseas suspects. However, many Americans seem stunned at the apparent extent of the programs and that the broad data collection included basic details on Americans’ phone records.
Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden asked Clapper at a March 12 congressional hearing whether the NSA “collects any type of data at all on millions of hundreds of millions of Americas?”
Wyden asked because Clapper suggested publicly months earlier that stories about the NSA keeping “dossiers” on millions of Americans were “completely false.”
Clapper told Wyden: “No sir, it does not.”
When asked for clarification, he said “not wittingly.”
After the latest stories appeared to reveal otherwise, Clapper said he gave the “least untruthful answer possible.”
Clapper said in the letter to Feinstein that when answering he was confounded by the word dossier and challenged by trying to protect classified information. He also said that when answering Wyden, he was focused on whether the U.S. collected the content of phone and email conversations, and not so-called metadata, which essentially is phone numbers, email addresses, dates and times. He wrote that he “simply didn’t think of” the pertinent section of the Patriot Act under which that information can be collected.
“Thus my response was clearly erroneous – for which I apologize,” Clapper said to Feinstein, in the letter.
Snowden’s father Lon, meanwhile, chastised Clapper for his answers in an open letter Snowden sent Tuesday to his son.
“We leave it to the American people to decide whether you or Director Clapper is the superior patriot,” Snowden wrote in the letter to his son.