Can Judicial Watch once again get public records that nobody else has been able to obtain?
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit to try to get documents regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s efforts to gain approval for use of an iPhone or iPad to conduct official business.
Judicial Watch has had unmatched success in recent years obtaining documents under both the Bush and Obama administrations through its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits challenging the government's withholding of public information. The group has been able to get documents that even Congressional subpoenas were unable to shake loose.
Judicial Watch filed the Clinton lawsuit after it says the State Department failed to comply with its March 10, 2015, FOIA request seeking:
- Any and all records of requests by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or her staff to the State Department Office Security Technology seeking approval for the use of an iPad or iPhone for official government business; and
- Any all communications within or between the Office of the Secretary of State, the Executive Secretariat, and the Office of the Secretary and the Office of Security Technology concerning, regarding, or related to the use of unauthorized electronic devices for official government business.
The State Department did not respond to the request within the legally required 20 business days. This lack of compliance with the law has become a routine practice among federal agencies.
Judicial Watch's effort to obtain the records stems from the alleged contradictions in statements Clinton has made about her email practices. According to the group, [quote]"On March 31, 2015, The Associated Press reported that Clinton, while secretary of state, had used an iPad to email members of her staff, contradicting her statements that she had used a secret email account so that she could conveniently conduct official business on one electronic device alone.[/quote]
Judicial Watch states that it has 18 lawsuits and 160 FOIA requests that could be affected by Mrs. Clinton and her staff’s use of secret email accounts to conduct official government business.
[Note: The State Department has also failed to properly respond to my FOIA requests for public information that includes Clinton email material.]