A Maryland judge ruled Monday that state officials must investigate a "bar complaint" that several of Hillary Clinton's lawyers deleted evidence while defending the former secretary of state during an FBI investigation into her use of a private email server.
Texas attorney Ty Clevenger filed the "bar complaint," an official complaint filed with the state bar association accusing an attorney or attorneys of a perceived ethical violation, against Clinton attorneys David E. Kendall, Cheryl D. Mills, and Heather Samuelson, the Washington Times reported.
Circuit Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. ruled the state bar must investigate the complaint, pointing out how anyone can file a complaint under Maryland law, and that it could not be dismissed as "frivilous" as previously deemed, the Baltimore Sun reported.
The Maryland bar commission initially denied Clevenger's request, arguing he had "no personal knowledge of the allegations presented," nor was he "a personally aggrieved client."
Maryland state attorneys further argued the complaint was "frivolous," making it unnecessary to launch an investigation. But Harris was unconvinced after he asked why the complaint was frivolous, and was told only that it was "confidential."
Clevenger says he is writing a book on the subject, and that his filing was not politically motivated. He noted that he helped indict a Texas Republican, Attorney General Ken Paxton, in 2015.
Kendall, Mills, and Samuelson would not be subject to any criminal sanctions if found guilty, but the Clinton lawyers could be barred from practicing law in Maryland. In 2001, Hillary's husband Bill Clinton similarly agreed to a five-year suspension from practicing law in Arkansas in order to avoid criminal charges in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.