Federal Judge Tells State Department to ‘Establish a Dialogue’ With FBI Regarding Clinton Emails

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton / AP
August 20, 2015

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ordered the State Department to "establish a dialogue" with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as it probes the security of Hillary Clinton’s private email system.

The Hill reported that District Judge Emmet Sullivan directed the department Thursday to cooperate with the FBI as it analyzes Clinton’s email server and possibly demand the FBI provide the department access to documents related to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch.

"I’m surprised that State didn’t do that already," Sullivan said in an exchange with government lawyers.

"If you can get the information as result of a dialogue with the FBI ... I think I may be satisfied," Sullivan continued. "Let’s see what the investigation reveals, if anything."

Last week, Clinton was forced to turn over her email server to the Department of Justice after the inspector general of the intelligence community determined that at least two of the emails held on the former secretary of state’s private system contain "top secret" information reportedly about drones.

Thus far, 305 of Clinton’s emails have been flagged by intelligence officials for possibly holding classified information.

Clinton’s server once contained more than 60,000 emails, half of which she deleted after deeming them personal. The other 30,000 work-related emails are contained on three computer thumb drives that the FBI seized from her attorney, David Kendall.

The lawyer told the House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi terror attacks earlier this year that Clinton’s private server had been wiped clean, a fact he confirmed last week.

However, Sullivan suggested Thursday that officials could demand that Clinton ask whether a backup of her server was created by the company that managed it, the Denver-based Platte River Networks, or another party. If a backup did exist, she could then turn it over to the government.