Tags: Hillary Clinton | Steve Malzberg Show | Shannen Coffin | Hillary Clinton | email | server

Ex-DOJ Lawyer: House May Need to Sue Hillary to Get Web Server

By    |   Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 07:32 PM

Hillary Clinton likely broke the law by using a personal email account to conduct government business and destroying thousands of emails — but House lawmakers probing the scandal may need to sue her to retrieve the private server she used, says Shannen Coffin, a former senior lawyer at the Justice Department.

But the process could also take years, Coffin added.

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"She's now destroyed up to 30,000 records … If any of those 30,000 records were responsive to what either the Hill is asking for or what the State Department has demanded the return of, she has a real problem," Coffin said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"Because the destruction of evidence that's the subject of any federal inquiry or the business of the federal government is a felony under several provisions of the law."

Coffin — who was also general counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney, and is now a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLC and a contributing editor to the National Review — questions when Clinton deleted those emails, which she claims were personal.

"There had been congressional requests and/or subpoenas since shortly after Benghazi in 2012. As late as November of last year, the Benghazi select committee was specifically asking for these emails from this server for Hillary Clinton," Coffin said.

"She turned over in response to what the State Department had asked for … on Dec. 5, 2014. Only a few days before she turned those documents over, [House select committee chair Trey] Gowdy made a specific demand for the documents from her lawyer, David Kendall.

"When did she start deleting documents? It would stand to reason that it was sometime around the time that she turned those documents over to the State Department."

He said by that point "there were any number of requests, including one as recently as three days before she had turned the documents over to the State Department."

"I don't have a clue whether the 30,000 documents that she has deleted are actually personal records of her daughter's wedding, her yoga classes and the things she said," Coffin said.

"What we know is that a number of statements she has made in her initial press conference on this subject have proved to be wrong or at least there's evidence that they're wrong.

"She said that she was using that email account to email her husband on the same day her husband's press secretary said that he's only sent two emails in his lifetime both when he was president. She said she used the email account because it was for convenience and she didn't want to carry two devices. We've learned in the last week that she used an iPad as well."

Coffin is skeptical whether Americans can accept the explanation of Clinton's lawyer that the 30,000 deleted emails and documents were actually personal records.

"I would think that a fair minded prosecutor would want to know what's in those emails. That's what Gowdy is trying to get at," he said.

A lawsuit may be necessary to get the server — a maneuver that is not unprecedented.

Former top Bush aides Karl Rove and Harriet Miers were once compelled to testify before Congress under oath about the firings of U.S. attorneys.

"The Democratic-controlled House went to court to ask the court to enforce a subpoena that had been issued by a committee of the House and a district court judge here in Washington, D.C., enforced that subpoena and said you have to testify," Coffin said.

"The same thing could happen here that the process would be John Boehner would ask the DOJ to bring an enforcement proceeding on his behalf. It's almost certain that will be denied …

"Then, the whole House could vote to sue Hillary Clinton to get those records and get the subpoena enforced and that would be a civil proceeding."

Not that it would be timely.

"A court could then order that sort of relief, but that's a two-year process. It could take forever," Coffin said.

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Hillary Clinton likely broke the law by using a personal email account to conduct government business and destroying thousands of emails - but House lawmakers may need to sue her to retrieve the private server, says Shannen Coffin, a former senior lawyer at the Justice Department.
Shannen Coffin, Hillary Clinton, email, server
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2015-32-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 07:32 PM
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