Bad news for the Obama administration: a federal judge has ordered the State Department to release redacted information in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails in order to glean further details about whether the administration responded appropriately to the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi.
Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced the news on Friday, noting that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the government to hand over “eight identical paragraphs” in two Clinton emails sent on September 13, 2012, regarding phone calls that Obama made to Egyptian and Libyan leaders in the aftermath of the attack.
These emails, which were stored on Clinton’s scandalous private email server, had the subject line “Quick Summary of POTUS Calls to Presidents of Libya and Egypt” and were held back from disclosure on the grounds that they were exempt. However, the judge ruled that the documents do not actually qualify for exemption and must be released.
In the wake of Jackson’s ruling, the State Department allegedly scrambled to keep the emails private by claiming that they had forgotten to mark them as classified, and therefore exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Judicial Watch contended that the so-called mistake was actually “part of a deliberate effort by the State Department to protect Clinton and the agency by avoiding identifying emails on Clinton’s unofficial, non-secure email server as classified.”
In a statement, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton suggested that Obama-era holdovers within the Trump administration are still working to protect the State Department’s reputation and shield Clinton from prosecution.
“Does President Trump know his State and Justice Departments are still trying to provide cover for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?” he wondered. “An extraordinary court ruling that could result in key answers about the Benghazi outrage is being opposed by the Trump administration. This may well be an example of the ‘deep state’ trying to get away with a cover up – if so then the Trump administration must put a stop to it.”