Department of State officials waited until late Friday to inform a federal court and a non-profit government watchdog that thousands of new records from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure as the country’s top diplomat had been found.
The government told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that officials had “located additional sources of documents that originated within the office of the secretary that are likely to contain records responsive to plaintiff’s request.”
“State has informed plaintiff that it intends to search these locations, produce non-exempt portions of any responsive records, and file a supplemental declaration in support of its motion for summary judgment (which is presently stayed).”
The newly-discovered documents appear be “working” records in electronic format located on both “shared” and “individual” drives accessible to or used by persons, according to Judicial Watch, which announced the Department of State action.
The case originated after the department failed to respond to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act request regarding the Benghazi scandal and other issues during Clinton’s tenure.
The Department of State asked the court to allow until Feb. 1, 2016 to produce the new documents.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called the discovery of the documents “astonishing” and noted that “the State Department waited to last possible moment, as it did with the Clinton emails, to tell Judicial Watch and the federal courts about thousands of records that haven’t been searched, as the law requires. Who knew what – and when did they know it – about these new Clinton documents?”
“These newly recovered Clinton records are a potential game changer – and will be of interest to the courts, Congress and the FBI’s criminal investigation. It sure looks like more of the same in terms of Obama administration officials’ obstructing our FOIA requests, obstructing the courts, obstructing Congress, and obstructing justice.”
The Judicial Watch announcement comes the same day as a new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform condemning what it called the Obama administration’s “politicalization” and “secrecy” in the Freedom Of Information Act process.
The newly discovered documents also recall a strange episode during the Bill Clinton presidency when Hillary Clinton’s billing records from her time as a partner in the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, suddenly turned up two years later in the White House residence — years after they were unsuccessfully sought in the Whitewater investigation.
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