The State Department admitted in federal court last week that it has 72,000 pages of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s records and has yet to process 40,000 of the pages, Judicial Watch revealed Monday.
State has reportedly processed about 32,000 pages of emails so far, with another 40,000 pages still remaining to be processed. Only a small number of the processed emails have been released to the public, the watchdog noted.
This came out during a federal court hearing addressing a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking Clinton emails that were sent or received during her tenure from February 2009 to January 31, 2013.
Although Clinton attempted to delete 33,000 purportedly private emails from her homebrew server, FBI investigators were able to recover a number of the missing emails — many of which were government documents.
According to Judicial Watch, the hearing last week “focused on the State Department’s progress on processing the tens of thousands of emails then secretary Clinton failed to disclose.” Some of the recovered emails were sent by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and found on the laptop of her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner.
Judicial Watch asked the court to require the State Department to identify any records from the seven FBI discs that it intends to withhold, and why, in a timely manner.
The State Department disclosed to the Court that it was adding extra resources to its FOIA operation but would not commit to a faster production of the Clinton emails. On October 19, Judge Boasberg ordered the State Department to “explain how its anticipated increase in resources will affect processing of records in this case and when the processing of each disk is likely to be completed.”
Surprisingly, the Tillerson State Department and Sessions Justice Department previously argued to the court that there was diminished public interest in the Clinton emails.
Last November, the State Department was ordered to produce no fewer than 500 pages of records per month to Judicial Watch. So far, State has only ponied up 23 batches of documents.
“Secretary Tillerson should be asked why his State Department is still sitting on a motherlode of Clinton emails,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is disheartening that an administration elected to ‘drain the swamp’ is stalling the release of documents to protect Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.”