U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras said he was "concerned" about the preservation of crucial documents in the Hillary Clinton email acquisition process, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch.
"If documents are destroyed between now and August 17, the government will have to answer for that, and, you know, if they don’t want to do anything out of the ordinary to preserve [them] between now and then, they can make that choice," Contreras said in a status conference.
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"I will allow them to make that choice, but they will answer for it if something happens."
Contreras made the statement at a July 9 conference after Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to obtain records documenting the State Department review of Clinton’s potential conflicts of interest.
Chris Fedeli, an attorney for Judicial Watch, expressed his concern over the preservation of records, "especially email records that were not part of the 55,000 pages of records turned over by Mrs. Clinton to the State Department late last year," a Judicial Watch press release said.
Judge Contreras went on to voice his concerns regarding the State Department’s lack of cooperation to provide further information about the Clinton emails.
"I am a little bit mystified that the government is not more forthcoming in just answering questions that will help this case proceed on a systematic basis, and on a basis that will allow everyone to get the answers that will eventually help resolve these cases," Contreras said.