State Department finds thousands of Clinton documents just as it thought it had finished
Washington Free Beacon:
The State Department’s recent discovery of thousands of unsearched records from Hillary Clinton’s tenure has delayed several public records lawsuits and could keep many of the documents out of the public sphere until next fall.This is evidence of a poorly functioning record keeping operation at a minimum if it was not a deliberate attempt to drag things out. It should be a reflection on Hillary Clinton's poor management skills, except she has a history of hiding documents and not producing them going back decades.
The watchdog groups Citizens United and Judicial Watch, which are suing the State Department for Clinton-related records, are two plaintiffs that have been affected by the discovery. The State Department said the new documents could take months to process, a time period that extends well beyond its court-ordered deadlines.
Citizens United said the State Department has yet to explain how the electronic files were overlooked for the past two years, raising questions about whether this was a stonewalling effort. The group is seeking records related to Clinton donors Gilbert Chagoury and Rajiv Fernando.
“With this 11th hour revelation, the State Department has missed its court-ordered deadline to finish the production of documents in this case,” said David N. Bossie, president of Citizens United. “These newly discovered records could impact document production in other Citizens United FOIA lawsuits as well as cases involving other plaintiffs.”
On Jan. 14, the State Department disclosed in a Judicial Watch case that officials had recently found shared and individual electronic files in the executive secretary’s office that were not previously searched in response to the lawsuit. Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit last May.
Although the court had ordered the State Department to turn over all relevant records by last October, attorneys said they would need until this spring to process the new documents.
State filed a nearly identical status report in the Citizens United lawsuit on Feb. 29, the same day as its court-ordered deadline to turn over all requested documents.
Attorneys for the department told Citizens United the discovery of unsearched records could set back the processing schedule until next fall. The State Department said it had not informed Citizens United earlier because its attorneys did not know about the new sources of records until Feb. 11—even though they had been disclosed to Judicial Watch in early January.