Cause of Action Sues State for Clinton Records Failure

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton / AP
July 29, 2015

A whistle-blowing organization is suing Secretary of State John Kerry and the National Archivist for failure to properly preserve former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s electronic trail.

Cause of Action (COA), a non-profit and nonpartisan government accountability organization, filed a lawsuit against the agency, claiming it did not perform its due diligence in ensuring that Clinton followed record keeping protocol. COA executive director Dan Epstein said the suit was necessary to ensure transparency in future administrations.

"This case is about no government official being above the law and the duty of Secretary Kerry and Archivist [David] Ferriero to fulfill their statutory obligations to hold former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accountable for misusing taxpayer funded federal property," Epstein said in a release.

Clinton installed a private email server in her home, rather than using the existing State Department email server. She conducted official State Department business on the private server. She turned over thousands of pages of email records but not before combing through the files and eliminating tens of thousands of emails she says were personal in nature.

"Federal law requires these agency heads to notify Congress when such action has been taken," the group said in a release.

Cause of Action’s lawsuit is aimed at forcing Secretary Kerry and U.S. Archivist Ferriero to engage in action to recover federal records that Clinton removed. Epstein said the lawsuit has plenty of merit to advance through federal courts.

"Mrs. Clinton’s emails relate to the official business of the United States, thereby requiring treatment as federal records. Even if we were to set aside the catastrophic failure of these agencies to implement and oversee proper record keeping protocols during the former secretary’s tenure, the refusal to recover the documents now constitutes brazen neglect at best and cover-up of illegal activity at worst," Epstein said. "We have reason to believe our case will proceed."