Stalling: Why is the State Dept Still Protecting Hillary Clinton?
In a federal court hearing this week, the State Department admitted that even though it was ordered to expedite the processing and release of 72,000 pages of Hillary Clinton records turned over by the FBI, it has only managed to get through approximately 30,000 of those documents. According to Judicial Watch, which is embroiled in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department, federal officials are still stalling in an effort to protect the former Secretary’s emails from public scrutiny.
In a press release following the hearing, Judicial Watch said they asked the court to order the State Department to identify any documents they intend to withhold from public release. State Department officials responded that they were still in the midst of adding staffers who could help expedite the FOIA operation, but they stopped short of promising a quicker release of emails. “Surprisingly,” the watchdog group wrote in the press statement, “the Tillerson State Department and Sessions Justice Department previously argued to the court that there was diminished public interest in the Clinton emails.”
Well, spokesmen for those departments are probably right in theory; certainly, the public interest in those emails is not nearly as high as it was, say, last year at this time. But that’s a far cry from saying that there is NO public interest in the emails. Furthermore, there is still a matter of urgency to the release, because it is inarguable that public interest will decline over time. That’s just human nature. So for people who want to get to the bottom of the Obama administration’s deception, time is of the essence. It does not bode well that the State Department, if it processes the remainder of these documents at the current pace, will not have all of them ready for release until late 2020.
Although…it could make for a hell of an October surprise.
In a statement, Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton said he was surprised and dismayed to see the State Department fighting to protect Clinton under new management.
“Secretary Tillerson should be asked why his State Department is still sitting on a motherlode of Clinton emails,” said Fitton. “It is disheartening that an administration elected to ‘drain the swamp’ is stalling the release of documents to protect Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.”
On the one hand, this doesn’t surprise us, considering the molasses-like speed at which the federal government does business. On the other, the State Department has had plenty of time to process and release these records. What they haven’t had, as of yet, is the inclination to pick up the pace. And the longer the email scandal stays out of the headlines, the better Hillary Clinton’s chances are of escaping justice – whether in a legal or critical sense of the word.