Last week the FBI denied Ty Clevenger’s FOIA request for Hillary Clinton’s emails due a supposed “lack of public interest.” No really…once you’ve manage to stop laughing, you can read our prior post on the topic here: FBI Denies FOIA Request For Hillary Documents Due To “Lack Of Public Interest”.
Alas, Clevenger isn’t the type to give up so easily and managed to find a judge in Maryland who seemingly agrees that the willful destruction of evidence subject to a Congressional subpoena might not be just a “frivolous” issue that suffers from an overwhelming “lack of public interest.” As the Washington Times points out today, Maryland judge Paul Harris Jr. has ordered the Maryland state bar to investigate former Hillary aides David Kendall, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson for their efforts in allegedly helping Hillary “destroy evidence.”
A Maryland judge ordered the state bar to open an investigation Monday into the three lawyers who helped former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to delete her private emails.
Circuit Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. said the complaints lodged against David E. Kendall, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson were “egregious” and said the state bar couldn’t brush them aside by calling them “frivolous.”
“There are allegations of destroying evidence,” Judge Harris said at a hearing Monday morning, where he said the state’s rules require the bar to conduct investigations no matter who raises the complaint, and can’t brush accusations aside.
“I just think this is a rather easy decision at this point,” he said. “The court is ordering bar counsel to investigate.”
As we’ve noted before, this latest success for Clevenger comes after failures with judges in both Arkansas and the District of Columbia.
Bars in Arkansas and the District of Columbia, as well as federal courts, had brushed aside requests from Mr. Clevenger, who is seeking to have the lawyers suspended or disbarred.
But Judge Harris said Mr. Clevenger’s request “appears to have merit,” and Maryland will now have to at least launch an investigation and demand a response from the lawyers, Mr. Clevenger said.
Meanwhile, who can forget the emailed response that Clevenger received from the FBI alleging that they couldn’t comply with his FOIA request because he had failed to demonstrate a “public interest in the disclosure” of Hillary’s emails.
“You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject,” FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy told Mr. Clevenger in a letter Monday.
“It is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public’s interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA,” Mr. Hardy wrote.
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