“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence,” said President Calvin Coolidge, and Judicial Watch continues to prove it, much to Hillary Clinton’s consternation.
Judicial Watch now has information about an email directly tying Clinton, for the first time, to the now-debunked Benghazi talking points used by then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to claim the attack was the result of a “spontaneous protest” gone awry.
Showing contempt for transparency, the Obama State Department is refusing to divulge the contents of the email.
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit in July 2014 seeking records from Clinton and her top State Department staff about the Benghazi talking points scandal, specifically, copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya; and any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency.
On July 7, the State Department submitted a court filing
with the astonishing news about the Clinton Benghazi email.
The State Department supposedly requested government-related emails from former Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin, and senior aide Jake Sullivan.
Sullivan and Mills provided documents responsive to Judicial Watch’s request June 26. Abedin has yet to comply.
State and the Justice Department refuse to provide any details about these new documents.
For instance, the State Department also refuses to disclose Mills’, Sullivan’s, and Abedin’s email domain names.
One of the Sullivan documents is an email chain from Sept. 29, 2012, discussing the talking points. It was originally included in the 55,000 pages of documents Clinton provided to State. The initial email was sent to Clinton’s secret email account and to Mills.
An unnamed agency staffer initially determined the “talking points” email was not relevant to Judicial Watch’s request for emails about the Benghazi “talking points.” The email was then withheld from Judicial Watch.
Confusingly, the State Department recently told the court “the later message [turned over by Sullivan on June 26] in the email chain, which was not sent to former Secretary Clinton, made it clear that one portion of the earlier message had, indeed, been discussing the talking points given to Ambassador Rice.”
The State Department, nevertheless, is withholding the emails under the “deliberative process” exemption to FOIA disclosure. The “transparent” Obama administration told the court the release of the email chain “could reasonably be expected to chill the frank deliberations that occur when senior staff are preparing points or other draft remarks for use by senior Department officials in addressing a matter of public controversy.”
In other words, a federal agency will not give out embarrassing information about the Benghazi cover-up because it may hamper future federal cover-ups.
Despite these revelations, the State Department brazenly requested the court dismiss Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, arguing it has executed a “reasonable” search of agency records relevant to Judicial Watch’s request.
Judicial Watch has long argued the State Department has not executed such a reasonable search. While the agency claims to have searched the 55,000 pages of Clinton records, it has refused to recover and search the records she kept on her “off-campus” email server.
Per the Federal Records Act and other federal records laws, the State Department has a responsibility as a federal agency to recover, preserve and search these records.
However, the State Department adamantly refuses to do so, and it also refuses to provide any information about Clinton’s mishandling of government records or its failure to disclose to the court it knew Clinton had taken them.
Because of Judicial Watch’s persistent legal pressure, the American people now have smoking-gun proof of Clinton’s involvement with the false Benghazi “talking points.”
Judicial Watch’s litigation alone exposed this extraordinary revelation and thwarted the State Department’s desperate cover-up. While keeping this information secret may benefit Clinton’s political efforts, it is contrary to the rule of law and shows contempt for the people’s right to know.
In the meantime, State’s refusal to search the government records Clinton and her aides purloined demonstrates the need for intervention from the courts, not the dismissal of our lawsuits.
U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith were both killed in the Benghazi terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2012.
Two CIA contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were killed in a second attack several hours after the initial assault, and 10 others were injured. These four men and unheralded injured are mocked by the obstruction of Clinton and the Obama administration, but these heroes are vindicated when persistence uncovers more of the truth.
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