The FBI may have let Hillary Clinton walk away from her crimes and sweep them under the rug, but the American people are not as forgiving.
Two watch dog groups, run by average citizens, brought forward two suits to force Secretary of State John Kerry to refer the Clinton email case to the Justice Department in order to pursue the missing emails. While one court dismissed the cases, a federal appeals court just brought them back to life! (via Politico)
The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, composed of three judges, has revived the case after it was wrongfully dismissed by a lower court judge. In their ruling, made Tuesday, the judges noted that though tens of thousands of Clinton emails have been revealed, the State has an obligation to citizens to attempt to provide more.
The groups Judicial Watch and Cause of Action filed these suits in 2015, asking the government to refer Clinton’s email scandal to the Justice Department to file a civil suit in order to recover the missing federal files.
D.C. Circuit Judge Stephen Williams stated it was not enough for the State to request Clinton’s emails as well as the FBI copies of her emails. It was not enough to fulfill the State’s obligation to pursue the missing emails.
“Even though those efforts bore some fruit, the Department has not explained why shaking the tree harder — e.g., by following the statutory mandate to seek action by the attorney general — might not bear more still,” Williams said.
“It is therefore abundantly clear that, in terms of assuring government recovery of emails, appellants have not ‘been given everything [they] asked for,’” Williams wrote of the court’s opinion, accompanied by Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Robert Wilkins. “Absent a showing that the requested enforcement action could not shake loose a few more emails, the case is not moot.”
In 2014, Clinton gave the State Department 54,000 emails upon their request and told her aides to erase the other emails, which were, supposedly, deemed “personal” by her lawyers. In 2015, her attorneys gave the work-related emails to the State in thumb drives.
The FBI’s case on these emails was reopened by Director James Comey after the FBI uncovered more emails on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the former husband of Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin.
This discovery took the majority of the attention in the final days of the election, but once again, Comey ruled that Clinton was not guilty of anything but “unwittingly” threatening the security of our nation, which many people have been fined or imprisoned for.
“While the case might well…be moot if a referral were pointless (e.g., because no imaginable enforcement action by the attorney general could lead to recovery of the missing emails), the record here provides no factual support for finding mootness on that basis,” Williams stated.
The appeals court did not order the district court to force the State to make the Federal Records Act referral to the Justice Department, which might mean that the cases could be dismissed on other grounds. The D.C. Circuit judges did not take a position as to whether the attorney general would have to sue if given a referral on the issue.