Judge Lashes Out at State Department Over Years-Old Hillary-Related Records Request

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton / AP
• July 21, 2015 5:42 pm


Years of delays and excuses from the State Department in releasing Hillary Clinton-related Freedom of Information Act request sent one federal judge over the edge.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon lashed out at lawyers from the State Department as they attempted to answer why they have not released records requested by the Associated Press four years ago. The AP’s request sought to obtain information on Huma Abedin’s employment at the State Department. Abedin is currently vice chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

According to Politico, Leon was determined to find out "what has been going on in the State Department for four years dragging their feet, not addressing these issues for four years."

"I want to find out what's been going on over there. I should say, what's not been going on over there. The State Department, for reasons known only to itself … has been, to say the least, recalcitrant in responding," the judge said during the hearing.

DOJ lawyers, representing the State Department, blamed the years-long delay on a surge in FOIA requests within the agency. The lawyers also tried to blame a string of lawsuits they have received since it was discovered that Clinton used a private email server during her time at State.

Leon, after a few exchanges with the lawyers, accused the State Department representatives of dishing out "convoluted gobbledygook."

"What you just said, Ms. Olson, made no sense," the judge said at one point. "You're failing to distinguish between documents created by the State Department independently of Hillary Clinton's emails—with Hillary Clinton's emails. And you're giving me some kind of convoluted gobbledygook. about how the emails contain within them the independently created documents relating to Huma Abedin's appointment as a special government counsel. …That is nonsensical."

The judge then snapped and demanded the documents by next week.

"Have it by next week. Have it by next week when we have our hearing. Do you hear me?" Leon said. He  also ordered the official responsible for FOIA requests at the State Department to appear at the next hearing.