Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has been clouded by a controversial series of scandals that have cast her in the light of a candidate that refuses to let the people know everything that she has done in her career as a public servant. A recent hearing has exacerbated Clinton’s presidential ambitions after a federal judge was forced to butt heads with State Department attorneys over their refusal to turn over critical records relating to Clinton’s use of a private email address during her tenure as Secretary of State.
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Earlier this year, Clinton found herself at the center of a scandal when it was discovered that she used a private email address to conduct important matters while she served as Secretary of State, even though the law required her to use an email address that would allow her correspondences to be archived for public perusal. In a heated hearing last week, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon insisted that he wants to “find out what’s been going on” in the four years that the Associated Press has been trying to obtain the relevant records.
According to Politico, the AP has been using Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain information about Clinton’s schedules and top aides during her time as Secretary of State, but they have only been met with silence with the State Department despite having tried to get the details for four years. “The State Department, for reasons known only to itself … has been, to say the least, recalcitrant in responding,” said Judge Leon, according to Politico.
The two Department of Justice lawyers representing the State Department, Lisa Ann Olson and Marcia Berman, claimed that the department has been stifled by a crippling number of FOIA requests that have rendered it unable to offer up the relevant information. They also argued that the State Department, which turned over 55,000 pages of emails related to Clinton’s stint as Secretary of State, has been battling lawsuits ever since news surfaced in March about Clinton’s unlawful use of a private email address.
Judge Leon was not convinced by the two lawyers’ arguments. To Olson’s argument that the State Department would be able to sufficiently explain Clinton Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin’s transition to a special part-time position at State, Leon said that the lawyer employed “convoluted gobbledygook” to explain herself. When Olson suggested that she could not guess how many State Department memos relate to Abedin’s appointment, Leon shot back “Have it by next week. Have it by next week when we have our hearing. Do you hear me?”
Judge Leon was not finished with the lawyers. When an AP lawyer mentioned that his organization was trying to find out what Abedin currently involved herself with, the judge replied, “Where is she now, this Huma person? … Did you Google her? … Have you done LinkedIn? You’ve got to check out on the social media scene to see what she’s doing.”