Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Variations on a Theme at

$hit just got interesting. First the straight news from the Post: U.S. judge orders discovery to go forward over Clinton’s private email system
A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that State Department officials and top aides to Hillary Clinton should be questioned under oath about whether they intentionally thwarted federal open records laws by using or allowing the use of a private email server throughout Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington came in a lawsuit over public records brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group, regarding its May 2013 request for information about the employment arrangement of Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide.

Officials with the State and Justice departments said that they were aware of the order but declined to comment further, citing the ongoing litigation. Discovery orders are not readily appealable. An attorney for Abedin declined to comment.

Sullivan set an April 12 deadline for parties to litigate a detailed investigative plan--subject to court approval--that would reach well beyond the limited and carefully worded explanations of the use of the private server that department and Clinton officials have given.
and in the morning paper: Aides’ email-server testimony could throw Clinton campaign a curveball
“There has been a constant drip, drip, drip of declarations. When does it stop?” said Sullivan, a 1994 Bill Clinton appointee who has overseen several politically sensitive FOIA cases. “This case is about the public’s right to know,” he said.
Federal Court Ruling Could Pave Way for Clinton Subpoena in Email Case
Sullivan also suggested from the bench that he might at some point order the department to subpoena Clinton and Abedin to return all emails related to Clinton’s private account, not just records their camps previously deemed work-related and returned.
The Clinton answer was cut and paste:
"This is one of several lawsuits filed by the same right-wing group, which will stop at nothing in pursuing the Clintons, just as they have done since the 1990s," Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said in an email.
True enough, but for good reasons. From Hot Air:
In an interview with the Post, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton cites a report published last month by the Inspector General for the State Department. The IG faulted the Department for long delays in responding to FOIA requests (longer than any other agency) and instances where responsive records seemed to be overlooked by Clinton’s senior staff:
In December 2012, the nonprofit organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a FOIA request to the Department seeking records “sufficient to show the number of email accounts of, or associated with, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the extent to which those email accounts are identifiable as those of or associated with Secretary Clinton.” On May 10, 2013, IPS replied to CREW, stating that “no records responsive to your request were located.” At the time the request was received, dozens of senior officials throughout the Department, including members of Secretary Clinton’s immediate staff, exchanged emails with the Secretary using the personal accounts she used to conduct official business. OIG found evidence that the Secretary’s then-Chief of Staff [Cheryl Mills] was informed of the request at the time it was received and subsequently tasked staff to follow up. However, OIG found no evidence to indicate that any of these senior officials reviewed the search results or approved the response to CREW. OIG also found no evidence that the S/ES, L, and IPS staff involved in responding to requests for information, searching for records, or drafting the response had knowledge of the Secretary’s email usage. Furthermore, it does not appear that S/ES searched any email records, even though the request clearly encompassed emails.
What this paragraph is really saying is that Clinton’s senior staff kept her private server a secret even from people tasked with responding to FOIA requests about her email arrangements. When the Inspector General sent attorneys to speak with Cheryl Mills about her role in this particular incident, she refused to speak with them.
Ann Althouse notices Donald Trump noticing.
Meanwhile, Trump might sound as though he's committing to prosecute Hillary: "You have no choice... In fairness, you have to look into that... She seems to be guilty... But you know what, I wouldn't even say that. But certainly, it has to be looked at... If a Republican wins, if I'm winning, certainly you will look at that as being fair to anyone else. So unfair to the people that have been prosecuted over the years for doing much less than she did. So she's being protected, but if I win, certainly it's something we're going to look at."
Ace has a mere "Fingers crossed."

David Brock thinks Bernie Sanders has had enough fun for now:
Today, Hillary supporter David Brock published an open letter at his Correct the Record site. The point of the letter is ostensibly to ask Bernie Sanders to tone down his negative advertising against Hillary Clinton.
I’m writing today to urge that you and your campaign immediately halt all negative campaigning against our party’s prospective candidate for the Presidency, Secretary Hillary Clinton.
After first pledging to wage a positive campaign for President, you and your campaign have for weeks now engaged in a relentlessly ugly barrage of false character attacks against Mrs. Clinton, including running negative TV advertising of the sort you promised you never would…
Your continued suggestions that Mrs. Clinton is untrustworthy and even corrupt – when nothing could be further from the truth – are a threat to our party’s standing, up and down the November ballot.
Attacking Hillary isn’t just politics as usual it’s a threat to the future of the entire Democratic party. Having made clear his desire for Sanders to shut up, Brock turns to his broader purpose, telling Bernie Sanders it’s time for him to fall in line. . .
Pull her far enough left and she'll be unelectable.

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