A Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Royce Lamberth, has acknowledged in his ruling that Hillary’s use of a private email server while in office is “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

Lamberth further ordered agencies to work with Judicial Watch and formulate a plan to determine whether or not Hillary’s private email server was an intentional attempt to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  He gave them 10 days to establish a discovery plan.

The Hill reports:

A federal judge called former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while in office “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

Judge Royce Lamberth sharply criticized both Clinton and lawyers for the Trump administration in a ruling Thursday granting the conservative group Judicial Watch discovery in their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State and Justice departments.

Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, slammed both the use of the server and the government’s investigation.

“At best, State’s efforts to pass off its deficient search as legally adequate during settlement negotiations was negligence born out of incompetence,” Lamberth wrote of the department’s review of emails Clinton provided to investigators.

“At worst, career employees at the State and Justice departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this court,” he added.

In his ruling, Lamberth ordered the agencies to develop a plan with Judicial Watch for a discovery plan within 10 days that will determine whether Clinton used the server to evade FOIA requests. He also ruled that the plan should determine whether the State Department sought to settle the case with Judicial Watch “despite knowing the inadequacies of the initial search constituted bad faith.”

Judicial Watch, who filed the original complaint, has more:

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?

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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.

Watch Judicial Watch’s report on this breaking story: