In court filing seeks “coordinating judge” — Ploy to get Judge Sullivan off the case?
The State Department has filed a Motion to Stay the Judicial Watch case seeking information regarding Huma Abedin’s non-State Department employment, including emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton. The full motion is at the bottom of this post.
The State Department just filed a motion in federal court seeking a “coordinating judge” for various FOIA cases seeking records of Hillary Clinton’s emails, among other things. (Full embed at end of post.)
The United States Department of State (“State”), defendant in numerous Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) cases in this district in which the emails of certain former officials are at issue, hereby requests the designation of a coordinating judge to allow the orderly and efficient resolution of common questions of law, fact, and procedure in those cases, pursuant to Local Civil Rules 40.5(e) and 40.6(a).
While seemingly innocuous and purporting to want to streamline court cases, the State Department indicated that it intends to seek a stay of current court cases until the motion is determined:
The Department will be separately filing a motion to stay those portions of this case addressing the documents provided to State by former Secretary Clinton and the other employees whose documents are at issue in this case, until the Coordination Motion is decided, and, if it is granted, until the coordinating judge issues an order determining how to proceed in the cases listed in that motion.
This might have the effect of (1) delaying the Judicial Watch case that has led to numerous disclosures of potentially improper conduct by Hillary and failures to produce records, and (2) potentially removing Judge Emmet Sullivan from at least parts of the case. Judge Sullivan has harshly criticized State Department behavior as well as what he termed Hillary’s failure to follow policy:
THE COURT: Right. But assuming, though, in that scenario there wasn’t a violation of government policy either, correct? We’re not talking about a search of anyone’s random e-mail accounts. We’re talking about a search of devices that may have contained official government documents, that’s what we’re talking about. We wouldn’t be here today had the employee followed government policy, right? [transcript at 16]
Here is the State Department Motion to Stay:DONATE
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