The attorney for a top aide to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state has informed a federal judge presiding over FOIA requests from Judicial Watch related to Huma Abedin's employment status, that she will destroy electronic communications not already handed over.
“Ms. Mills does not believe that she has paper copies of potential records in her possession. Following our production on August 10, 2015 [of the defense counsel’s version of the electronic records], we have instructed her to delete any and all electronic records in her possession,” said the attorney.
Judicial Watch announced that the State Department today provided a status report as required by a July 31 federal court order requiring the State Department to request that Hillary Clinton and her top State Department aides Human Abedin and Cheryl Mills confirm, under penalty of perjury, that they have produced all government records in their possession, return any other government records immediately, and describe their use of Hillary Clinton’s email server to conduct government business. The State Department filing shows that the agency sent the former officials the request and a copy of Judge Sullivan’s order but that both Mills and Abedin, who responded through their attorneys, ignored Judge Sullivan’s request to submit information under penalty of perjury. The State Department reports that Mrs. Clinton has yet to respond. Contrary to both Judge Sullivan’s order and the State Department’s request, Ms. Mills’ attorney said that she told Ms. Mills to destroy federal records in her possession on Monday, August 10. Tonight, Judicial Watch filed an urgent response informing Judge Sullivan of this plan to destroy federal records.
The State Department produced the August 5 letter it sent to Mrs. Clinton, which included a copy of Judge Sullivan’s order.
The developments come in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). The lawsuit was reopened last month because of revelations about Hillary Clinton’s email records.
Letters produced yesterday show that, on July 31, the State Department, for the first time, demanded that Mills and Abedin “return all copies of potential federal records in your possession.” The State Department did not provide correspondence demanding Mrs. Clinton return all copies of potential federal records. Despite the court’s July 31 order for immediate disclosure, the State Department and its Justice Department attorneys took six days to disclose the 13 letters, which total 19 pages.
Prior to August 5 court-ordered letters, the State Department had asked no questions of Clinton, Mills, and Abedin about Mrs. Clinton’s separate email system or classified material.