The conservative group Citizens United has filed a lawsuit against the State Department to obtain records related to Hillary Clinton’s decision not to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist group while she was secretary of state.
Clinton declined to name the Nigerian group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) during her tenure despite repeated calls by lawmakers and intelligence agencies. Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) has suggested that her decision might be linked to Gilbert Chagoury, a major Clinton Foundation donor and Nigerian construction magnate whose business interests in the country could have been affected by a FTO designation.
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Vitter has requested email records from the State Department pertaining to Clinton, Boko Haram, and Chagoury, but has yet to receive a response. Now, Citizens United is suing the department for the same documents, the Washington Examiner reports:
More than 30 days have passed since Citizens United first filed the lawsuit without a response of any kind from the State Department.
David Bossie, president of Citizens United, said it was the first time he had seen the State Department completely ignore a case against it in federal court.
"These proceedings are important that both sides take them seriously," Bossie said. "I have no idea what the judge will do, but I believe the judge will order a hearing to find out why the government did not respond."
"Federal judges, I don't think, look kindly on people who ignore the court's workings," he added.
Chagoury donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation and additionally pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative in 2009 through his company, the Chagoury Group. He is a longtime friend of the Clintons who also contributed nearly half a million dollars to a voter registration group that helped re-elect President Bill Clinton in 1996.
Chagoury was a close associate of the former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and was accused of laundering money outside of the country into Swiss bank accounts. He repaid $66 million to the Nigerian government as part of a plea deal in 2000.
Boko Haram became a FTO in November 2013 after John Kerry became secretary of state.