SOURCE: Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch

August 10, 2015 13:08 ET

Judicial Watch: Federal Judge Orders State Department to Request Hillary Clinton, Top Aides Preserve Emails

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - August 10, 2015) - Judicial Watch announced that at 7:33 pm ET on Friday, August 7, Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order to the State Department explicitly instructing that all federal documents relating to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills be preserved:

In view of [20] the Government's status report, the Court hereby directs the Government to request that Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Ms. Huma Abedin, and Ms. Cheryl Mills i) not delete any federal documents, electronic or otherwise, in their possession or control, and ii) provide appropriate assurances to the Government that the above-named individuals will not delete any such documents. The Government shall inform the Court of the status of its compliance with this Order no later than August 12, 2015, including a copy of any assurances provided by Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills that they will not delete any federal documents in their possession or control. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on August 7, 2015.

The order was issued a little over an hour after Judicial Watch lawyers filed an urgent response Friday evening, informing Judge Sullivan of a plan to destroy federal records as reported by State to the court.

Last week's State Department filing shows that the agency sent the former officials the request and a copy of Judge Sullivan's order but that both Mills and Abedin, who responded through their attorneys, ignored Judge Sullivan's request to submit information under penalty of perjury. The State Department reports that Mrs. Clinton has yet to respond. Contrary to both Judge Sullivan's order and the State Department's request, Ms. Mills' attorney said that she told Ms. Mills to destroy federal records in her possession on Monday, August 10. Judicial Watch immediately filed its urgent response informing Judge Sullivan of this plan to destroy federal records.

State had been ordered on July 31 to request that Clinton and her top aids confirm, under penalty of perjury, that they have produced all government records in their possession and to return any other government records immediately. The Court wanted State to ascertain how Clinton, Abedin and Mills to describe their use of Hillary Clinton's email server to conduct government business.

Contrary to both Judge Sullivan's order and the State Department's request, Mills' attorney said that she told Mills to destroy federal records in her possession on Monday, August 10.

The developments come in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about Hillary Clinton's email records.

"The destruction of federal documents in the face of a court order is par for the course for a Clinton-related scandal," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "If not for the swift action of Judicial Watch's legal team and an alert federal judge, there is no telling what important public information would have lost forever. The Obama State Department, Hillary Clinton, Cheryl Mills, and Huma Abedin should heed the court's orders to preserve government records or face severe legal consequences."