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Judicial Watch Tag

Here at LI, we've been following with great interest the work that Judicial Watch is doing regarding Hillary Clinton's involvement in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack that left four men—an American ambassador (Christopher Stevens), two former Navy SEALS (Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty), and one embassy aide (Sean Smith)—brutally murdered. In one such report from Judicial Watch we learned that Hillary had slept through a security meeting following the Benghazi attack, and now Judicial Watch reveals that on September 12, 2012, Hillary spoke with then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil and informed him that the terror attacks had nothing to do with the film; within days, everyone from Obama to then-U. S. ambassador the U. N. Susan Rice to Hillary herself publicly blamed the film. Judicial Watch reports:
Another piece of the scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton and Benghazi fell into place this week when the State Department released to us new documents containing telephone transcripts from the evening of September 12, 2012. The documents reveal that the then-Secretary of State informed then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil that the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. compound the day before “had nothing to do with the film.”

Judicial Watch has been fighting a years-long battle to obtain records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding Huma Abedin's non-State Department employment arrangement. In the course of that fight, issues regarding Hillary Clinton's handling of email and her email server have become central. Judicial Watch has won many key procedural fights, the latest of which was the Court ruling that Judicial Watch could take discovery as to State Department practices with regard to obtaining Hillary's emails. The two sides have submitted their positions to the Court, but the Court may not need to rule because an agreement was just reached (full embed at bottom of post). The agreement, in the form of a Joint Proposed Order, gives Judicial Watch what it was seeking, but puts off limits discovery regarding Hillary's handling of classified information and the FBI investigation, which Judicial Watch was not seeking in any event. Here is the key paragraph:

In late February we reported that the court in the FOIA case seeking State Department records as to Huma Abedin granted Judicial Watch's motion for discovery, and required Judicial Watch to submit a discovery plan:
In a ruling sure to keep the Hillary Clinton email scandal alive through the summer, if not longer,  a federal just has granted Judicial Watch the right to take discovery as to whether Hillary’s home server was part of an effort to evade the Freedom of Information (FOIA) law by shifting federal records off-site and into the sole control of Hillary, her attorney’s and consultants.... Given the difficulty of obtaining records, particularly in light of the destruction of at least some records maintained on Hillary’s home server, led Judicial Watch to seek discovery, including depositions of key officials. Such discovery is not routine in FOIA cases, and good cause needs to be shown to obtain discovery.... The Court granted the motion today, via two Minute Orders (meaning orders reflected on the court docket sheet, not separate documents:

In a ruling sure to keep the Hillary Clinton email scandal alive through the summer, if not longer,  a federal just has granted Judicial Watch the right to take discovery as to whether Hillary's home server was part of an effort to evade the Freedom of Information (FOIA) law by shifting federal records off-site and into the sole control of Hillary, her attorney's and consultants. We have been following Judicial Watch's federal lawsuit seeking State Department records regarding Huma Abedin's outside employment. The FOIA request giving rise to the suit also has given rise to much obfuscation by State, which even resulted in the Court ordering Hillary Clinton to provide a declaration under oath as to records. Given the difficulty of obtaining records, particularly in light of the destruction of at least some records maintained on Hillary's home server, let Judicial Watch to seek discovery, including depositions of key officials. Such discovery is not routine in FOIA cases, and good cause needs to be shown to obtain discovery. In a Motion for Discovery (full embed at bottom of post), Judicial Watch laid out the case how Hillary may have conspired to evade FOIA:

For the second time in a month, a Washington, D.C., court has rejected DOJ's arguments for withholding documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal. Last month, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, presiding in Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, United States House of Representatives v. Lynch (the "House Suit"), rejected the Justice Department's assertion of the "deliberative process privilege" to withhold around 10,000 Fast and Furious documents.  Judge Jackson held that DOJ had waived the privilege by previously releasing a substantial amount of information about the same documents it then sought to withhold. I discussed Judge Jackson's decision in more detail, here.

Will Hillary Clinton be subject to a deposition under oath as to her use of various electronic devices and servers as part of the Judicial Watch FOIA federal lawsuit seeking records as to Huma Abedin's outside employment? That is a distinct possibility in light of the State Department's apparent failure to comply with a Court order as to its efforts to search Hillary's original server for records. The Court, at the request of Judicial Watch, has expedited a status conference originally scheduled for September 10, to August 19:
MINUTE ORDER. In light of the State Department's August 14, 2015 Status Report and Judicial Watch's August 17, 2015 reply thereto, a status hearing will be held on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. in Courtroom 24A. The State Department shall file a reply to Judicial Watch's August 17, 2015 response no later than 12:00 p.m. on August 19, 2015. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on August 17, 2015. (lcegs4) (Entered: 08/17/2015)
In its papers , Judicial Watch says it intends to seek discovery, which normally does not take place in FOIA cases, because of the State Department's non-compliance. (Full embed of Judicial Watch request at bottom of post.) While Judicial Watch has not specified what discovery it seeks to take, "discovery" can include depositions, which are sworn testimony on the record. Other forms of discovery would appear inadequate given the history of the case. Given the players involved, discovery logically would include Hillary, Abedin, and Cheryl Mills, not to mention Hillary's attorney David Kendall as custodian of at least some records. Judicial Watch provided the following statement in response to our inquiry:
“We believe that discovery is now the only way to receive the necessary information, wherever that may lead.”

Background - How We Got Here

On Friday,  August 14, 2015, we covered the State Department's Court-ordered Status Report in That court order came after the Court ordered Hillary, Abedin and Cheryl Mills not to destroy records, and other court proceedings as to whether all electronic devices had been searched for records.
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