AP v State Department lawsuit release of Hillary Clinton emails, FOIA Freedom of Information Act requests ignored, Beginning in 2010 6 requests, Calendars and Schedules, Raid on bin Laden
“The only question that remains today is whether or not Hillary Clinton gets away with another cover-up, like she did in the Vince Foster case, and runs for President in 2016, or will she finally be held accountable, and Americans learn the truth about the Benghazi terrorist attack?”…Canada Free Press December 18, 2012
“Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton deleted nearly 32,000 emails she deemed private from her time in the Obama administration and refused Tuesday to turn over her personal email server, insisting she “fully complied” with the law and that voters will have to trust her judgment.”…Washington Times March 10, 2015
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984”
From the lawsuit by the Associated Press against the US State Dept.
“Plaintiff The Associated Press, by and through its undersigned attorneys, alleges:
1. This is an action under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C.
§§ 552, et seq., brought by The Associated Press (“AP”), one of the oldest and most trusted newsgathering organizations in the world, with more than one billion readers, listeners and viewers. AP brings this action for injunctive and other appropriate relief, seeking the release of agency records from the United States Department of State (“State” or the “State Department”).
2. Through this action, AP seeks to compel the State Department to provide records documenting its actions – and the official actions of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other State Department officials – in connection with some of the most prominent events of the recent past. The public interest in receiving information about these topics, which
include U.S. efforts to eliminate the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and U.S. government surveillance activities, is undeniable. Further, as a former presidential candidate, Secretary of State, United States Senator and First Lady, Secretary Clinton is a prominent public official, as well as a presumptive candidate for the presidency in 2016. AP seeks the records in question
from the State Department to inform citizens both regarding the operation of their government and regarding Secretary Clinton’s official actions as Secretary of State.
3. Beginning in 2010, AP filed six requests under FOIA seeking records from the
State Department regarding Secretary Clinton’s official actions. These requests sought (i) Secretary Clinton’s calendars and schedules (two requests); (ii) records concerning the designation of Special Government Employee status given to Secretary Clinton’s former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin; (iii) records concerning the raid in Pakistan in which Osama bin Laden was killed; (iv) records concerning surveillance and other anti-terrorism programs
conducted by the U.S. government; and (v) records concerning the State Department’s dealings with defense contractor BAE Systems, with whom it reached a settlement in 2011 over violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
4. In the five years since the first FOIA request was submitted, the State Department has failed to respond substantively to five of the requests, and has only partially responded to one request, releasing three documents called for by one subpart of the August 2013 request for records concerning BAE Systems.
5. In early March 2015, Secretary Clinton confirmed reports that she used a personal email account, rather than a government account, for government business during her tenure at State. Although AP’s FOIA requests have been pending for years, State first asked Secretary Clinton to turn over emails from that personal account only last summer. Secretary Clinton reportedly provided about 50,000 pages of printed emails to State late last year, and has said she
wants those emails to be released to the public. State’s failure to ensure that Secretary Clinton’s governmental emails were retained and preserved by the agency, and its failure timely to seek out and search those emails in response to AP’s requests, indicate at the very least that State has not engaged in the diligent, good-faith search that FOIA requires.
6. At no time over the past five years has the State Department ever indicated that it did not have possession or control over the records, including email messages, sought by AP. Whether email concerning official government business is sent to or from an official State Department email account or from a “personal” account maintained by State Department officials but used for government business, the State Department as a matter of law both
possesses and controls such emails and has an obligation to release them under FOIA. The State Department should be compelled to abide by the law, perform reasonable searches and promptly release all of the requested records, including all responsive emails.”