A Washington-based accountability group filed a petition Wednesday to strike from the record an FBI official’s public testimony on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email case.
Cause of Action Institute (CofA) believes that improper testimony from FBI Assistant Director E.W. Priestap could distort the government’s case against the Department of State and National Archives and Records Administration. The case involves Clinton’s alleged removal of emails from the federal records.
“The FBI’s declaration revealed grand jury subpoenas where there was probable cause to believe classified information may have been involved,” CofA CEO John J. Vecchione said in a press statement. “The opinions offered by Mr. Priestap are unfounded under the applicable standard of law and ignore that this suit seeks more than classified material, which was the FBI’s interest.”
The FBI’s declaration, which was provided to a federal judge in August, includes several opinions that the government uses to support its case. One of the opinions improperly implies that no more emails can be discovered through the investigation, CofA noted.
“It is my opinion that there are no further investigative actions that can be undertaken by the FBI to recover additional Clinton work-related e-mails which would be meaningful to the investigation, as described above,” Priestap said.
He is referencing “the potential unauthorized transmission and storage of classified information on the personal e-mail server of former Secretary Clinton,” not a record recovery effort pursuant to the Federal Records Act (FRA), Vecchione noted in his statement.
CofA initially filed a lawsuit in May to force the public release of more information about grand jury subpoenas related to Clinton’s BlackBerry email accounts.
The group also sued Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Archivist David Ferriero, seeking to force them to comply with the FRA. CofA is requesting that the Attorney General’s office recover Clinton’s email records removed from the State Department.
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