A government watchdog group says it is no accident that Hillary Clinton gave the State Department her 55,000 pages of work-related emails in printed-out format, and it is suing the agency for the former secretary of state’s emails in their original electronic format.
Judicial Watch filed the suit on Monday after the State Department failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request seeking two Clinton emails “as [they] were sent.”
One of the emails Judicial Watch is seeking was sent to Clinton from her top aide, Huma Abedin, on Aug. 21, 2011. The other was sent by Clinton to another aide, Jake Sullivan, on July 12, 2012. The address listed for Clinton on that email is HROD17@clintonemail.com. That’s a different address than the HDR22@clintonemail.com address she claimed she exclusively used.
The Clinton campaign has said that the Democratic presidential candidate only used HROD17@clintonemail.com after she left office.
Judicial Watch hopes that the metadata contained in the electronic copies of the emails will help answer that question as well as shed light on how her private email server was configured.
One IT expert who has looked into Clinton’s unique email arrangement has explored the importance of the information contained in the email headers.
“If anyone ever got and [sic] email from Hillary and still has the email then they can look in the received lines in the message headers to see where the message has been,” Marc Perkel, a former systems administrator at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote on his blog in March.
“This is worth looking into because every received line is another server where Hillary’s outbound email could have been tapped.”
Perkel stated that whoever received emails from Clinton would have the ability to tell what channels her emails traveled through on its way to recipients’ inbox.
“I think that would be interesting because for national security purposes we would want to know where out there in the world might have had access to tap her communications,” Perkel wrote.
The FBI seized Clinton’s email server last month after the Intelligence Community inspector general found it contained at least two emails containing “top secret” information. And according to Bloomberg Politics, the FBI is currently inspecting the hardware to see if it was hacked by foreign governments.
“The State Department is violating federal law in refusing to respond to our simple request about two emails that can answer many questions about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “The fact that Mrs. Clinton only provided paper copies of her emails was not accidental. Both she and the State Department have something to hide.”