Following a court-ordered inquiry, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has refused to give the State Department any kind of update regarding information that has been recovered from the private email server used by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State, and has gone as far as to refuse to confirm whether an ongoing investigation is taking place.
Washington Times reported that the court-ordered inquiry came from Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who told the State Department to reach out to the FBI to find out if any information could be recovered from Clinton’s server.
One week after the deadline set by the Justice Department to respond to the inquiry, FBI General Counsel James A. Baker replied with a brief letter on Monday.
“At this time, consistent with long-standing Department of Justice and FBI policy, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation nor are we in a position to provide additional information at this time.”
Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm, is pursuing 16 open records cases seeking emails from Clinton and her top aides including Huma Abedin. Judicial Watch is questioning whether the FBI actually has possession of the server used by Clinton.
“We still do not know whether the FBI — or any other government agency for that matter — has possession of the email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department,” Judicial Watch said.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, whose panel oversees the FBI, criticized the agency for refusing to cooperate with Judge Sullivan’s request and accused the FBI of “behaving like it’s above the law.”
“The FBI is behaving like it’s above the law. Simply refusing to cooperate with a court-ordered request is not an appropriate course of action. This entire case, from Secretary Clinton’s ill-advised decision to use a non-government email server, to the FBI’s investigation about classified information, needs some transparency in order to assure the American people that getting to the bottom of this controversy is a priority.”
Clinton turned a “blank” server over the FBI in August, containing around 30,000 emails she deemed “work-related” from her tenure as Secretary of State. These did not include about 32,000 emails she’d claimed she deleted because they contained personal information, and Sullivan ordered the Justice Department and the FBI to gain access to the missing emails.