Even if she and her surrogates won’t admit it, the noose continues to tighten around Democrat presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton. In the latest installment, today the Republican National Committee filed two lawsuits seeking access to Hillary Clinton’s records as Secretary of State.
The Republican National Committee on Wednesday filed two lawsuits seeking access to Hillary Clinton’s records, potentially opening a new chapter in the ongoing legal saga over her decision to use a personal email server while secretary of state.
The first lawsuit seeks access to all text and BlackBerry messages sent and received by Mrs. Clinton during her time at the State Department. Republicans also are seeking all emails sent and received by several top aides to Mrs. Clinton, including her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, top policy staffer Jake Sullivan, and technology consultant Bryan Pagliano.
A second case asks for any communications between State Department officials and Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign after she left office in 2013. Mrs. Clinton is the leading Democratic candidate for president.Both lawsuits cite the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA. The State Department’s handling of Mrs. Clinton’s records has generated dozens of lawsuits, most of which are still in ongoing litigation. Mrs. Clinton’s decision to use a personal server also has prompted an FBI investigation and independent reviews from the inspectors general of the State Department and the intelligence community.
A State Department spokeswoman said the department hadn’t seen the complaint. It has a policy against commenting on ongoing legal disputes.
The Clinton campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment. Mrs. Clinton has long denied any wrongdoing and has described her decision as an error in judgment.
“I have said it wasn’t the best choice to use a personal email. It was a mistake. However, I am not alone in that. Many people in the government, past and current, have on occasion or as a practice done the same,” she said during a Fox News town hall event on Monday.
The lawsuits come as several judges on the D.C. District Court have shown a willingness to allow litigation challenging how and why the State Department permitted Mrs. Clinton to run her own email server and control access to her own records.
In response to a separate lawsuit from the conservative activist group Judicial Watch, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan took the rare step of permitting discovery in a FOIA case—opening the possibility that Mrs. Clinton or her top aides could be forced to testify under oath.
“We’re talking about a cabinet-level official who was accommodated by the government for reasons unknown to the public. And I think that’s a fair statement. For reasons heretofore unknown to the public. And all the public can do is speculate,” Judge Sullivan said in a recent court hearing.
In another case, a different federal judge ordered the State Department to speed releases of Mrs. Clinton’s email archive so Democratic voters would have access to as many of her records as possible before casting ballots or caucusing for president.
“If this administration claims to be the ‘most transparent in history,’ and Clinton the ‘most transparent person in public life,’ then they should prove it, release these records, and allow the American people to hold her accountable,” RNC chairman Reince Priebus said in a written statement.
The lawsuit, filed under the Freedom of Information Act, said the information sought “bears directly on her qualifications for president.” Yup. Though apparently a majority of Democrat voters don’t think so.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]