As has been the pattern for officials in the Obama administration, Secretary of State John Kerry is in cover-up mode for Hillary Clinton — a cover-up that is illegal.
That is why on May 28, Judicial Watch filed a new federal lawsuit against Kerry that is designed to force him to do his job, and fulfill the responsibility his oath of office requires when it comes to maintaining official government records per the Federal Records Act.
Judicial Watch has asked the court to: “declare the Clinton emails to be records subject to the FRA; declare Defendant Kerry’s failure to take any action to recover the Clinton emails as arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with the FRA; order Defendant Kerry to take action to recover the Clinton emails.”
On March 2, 2015, The New York Times reported
then-Secretary Clinton used at least one non-“state.gov” email account to conduct official government business during her entire tenure as the secretary of state.
It also was reported that Secretary Clinton stored these records on a non-U.S. government server at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.
There are about 18 lawsuits, 10 of which are active in federal court, and about 160 Judicial Watch FOIA requests, that could be affected by Mrs. Clinton and her staff’s use of secret email accounts to conduct official government business.
In Judicial Watch’s various FOIA lawsuits, the watchdog’s lawyers have informed attorneys for the Obama administration that Hillary Clinton’s account and any other secret accounts used by State employees should be secured, recovered, and searched.
In response to the scandal, Judicial Watch filed eight new FOIA lawsuits to get the truth about the Clinton email scandal, including suing the State Department for records about Clinton’s iPad and iPhone! All these lawsuits and the Clinton document shell-game mean Judicial Watch has been stonewalled, contrary to law.
The Federal Records Act is an important transparency and accountability law that, as Judicial Watch’s lawsuit notes: "Imposes a direct responsibility on an agency head to take steps to recover any records unlawfully removed.
"Specifically, if an agency head learns of 'any actual, impending, or threatened unlawful removal, defacing, alteration, corruption, deletion, erasure, or other destruction of records in the custody of the agency,” he or she must notify the Archivist.
"If the agency head “knows or has reason to believe [that records] have been unlawfully removed from [his or her] agency,” then the agency head “with the assistance of the Archivist shall initiate action through the Attorney General for the recovery of records.”
The lawsuit leaves no doubt that Kerry has been derelict in his duty: "Defendant Kerry’s failure to notify the Archivist concerning the unlawful removal of the Clinton emails and failure to initiate action through the attorney general to recover the Clinton emails was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with the FRA.
While John Kerry may have replaced Hillary Clinton at the State Department, he has proven that when it comes to complying with federal records and disclosure laws, he and Clinton are cut from the same corrupted cloth.
Secretary Kerry can provide the transparency and accountability his predecessor so willfully avoided.
This administration will do whatever it can, including ignoring and violating federal law, to protect her 2016 presidential prospects. The whole State Department records process has been turned on its head to help one political candidate.
Kerry’s dereliction of duty and abuse of power has led to the continued withholding of official government records from the American people.
Judicial Watch is working to break the logjam wide open with this historic action.
If Kerry will not do the right thing on his own, maybe a federal court can help him along and get Judicial Watch and the American people some accountability and key records on a person who seeks the highest office in the land.
Tom Fitton is the president of Judicial Watch. He is a nationally recognized expert on government corruption. A former talk radio and television host and analyst, Tom is well known across the country as a national spokesperson for the conservative cause. He has been quoted in Time, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and most every other major newspaper in the country. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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