A federal judge has ordered the State Department to ensure that all documents related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills be preserved.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of Washington, D.C., issued the order late Friday regarding a FOIA lawsuit by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch. The lawsuit seeks records about the controversial employment status of Abedin, the former deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Friday evening, after Cheryl Mills’ attorney indicated that Ms. Mills planned to destroy federal records in her possession on Monday, Judicial Watch urgently warned the court.
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  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.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following statement:
“The destruction of federal documents in the face of a court order is par for the course for a Clinton-related scandal. 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.”