“The fact that this case was dismissed does not absolve Secretary Clinton or show that all of her unlawfully removed email records have been recovered,” Cause of Action President John Vecchione said in a press release. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
A federal judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a case Thursday which would have compelled the State Department and the U.S. archivist to continue searching for emails from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state in which she used a private email server and address.
The case, brought by Cause of Action and Judicial Watch, didn’t stem from a Freedom of Information Act request, as is usually the case with those watchdog groups. Instead, the two groups were pressing the court to rely on a line from the Federal Records Act, which commands the archivist team up with the U.S. Attorney General’s office to recover documents which may have been “unlawfully removed from that agency[.]”
“The fact that this case was dismissed does not absolve Secretary Clinton or show that all of her unlawfully removed email records have been recovered,” Cause of Action President John Vecchione said in a press release. “In fact, the Court’s decision shows that Secretary Clinton violated the Federal Records Act and that a subset of her work-related emails remains missing. Unfortunately, the Court concluded that efforts by the FBI in its investigation of Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified material, which resulted in the recovery of numerous emails that Clinton had not previously turned over, left nothing further for the Attorney General to do.”
This particular lawsuit has taken an unusual track. It was originally dismissed by Judge Boasberg in December of 2016, only to have that dismissal reversed by an appeals court. However, when Boasberg applied the standards set by the appeals court, he still found the case to be “moot” and agreed for this second dismissal.
The lawsuit also drew attention in March of this year, when the State Department argued again for dismissal of the case, even though the administration of the department had changed hands from former President Barack Obama to President Trump’s administration.