It is really a sad commentary on the utter lawlessness of Obama’s administration that this is necessary:
A federal judge has ordered four current or former top officials at the Department of Homeland Security, including Secretary Jeh Johnson, to preserve emails in their private accounts that may be responsive to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss issued the order Wednesday morning to Johnson, former Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, former chief of staff Christian Marrone, and former General Counsel Stevan Bunnell, telling them to copy relevant messages to thumb drives.
Moss said the Justice Department indicated that all four men agreed to preserve any responsive messages that might be in their private accounts, but he still granted the preservation order sought by the conservative group Judicial Watch, which said it feared the government might lose easy access to the records as Obama appointees ship out.
“Given the Department’s representation, the Court has no reason to doubt that the four individuals have agreed to comply fully with their obligations to preserve any potentially responsive emails and that they have every intention of doing so,” wrote Moss, an appointee of President Barack Obama.
“Nonetheless, out of the abundance of caution, the Court will order an additional preservation step to minimize the risk of any inadvertent loss of potentially responsive emails. Specifically, the Court will order the individuals to copy any emails from the relevant time period in any private email accounts that might contain responsive materials onto portable thumb drives, to be kept in the individuals’ personal possessions,” the judge added. “Copying the emails to a physical drive will minimize the risk that any
Did any senior official in the Obama administration use government email for official business? The list of people who didn’t is legion and those are only people who have been caught up in scandals.
Even though the judge says the doesn’t doubt their intent, of course he does. He’d have to have been utterly brain dead to not see what is going on from Lois Lerner to Hillary Clinton and beyond. Even as this was happening, another federal judge was discovering that the word of an Obama official that they’d complied with the law wasn’t worth a whole lot:
In a separate Judicial Watch case before another judge, the Justice Department indicated Wednesday that one of its top officials has no record of an email he apparently sent to a top Clinton campaign official in May 2015 previewing an upcoming congressional hearing and an expected DOJ filing in a court case related to Clinton’s emails.
Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadzik sent the message with the subject line “Heads Up” to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Clinton campaign aides said the communication was routine, but Donald Trump’s campaign has alleged it showed improper collusion between Justice and the Clinton camp. The contact is one focus of a Justice inspector general investigation announced last week.
The message from Kadzik to Podesta was one of tens of thousands of messages that were hacked from Podesta’s account and posted online by WikiLeaks during the campaign in an effort U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was part of a Russian government-led drive to influence the U.S. presidential election and bolster Trump’s chances.
Justice Department attorneys said Kadzik did an exhaustive search for that email and could not find it.
“Mr. Kadzik reported that: he had searched for agency records on his personal Gmail account, [email protected], and found none, nor did he find any potential agency records (including the email described [above]); he did not use any other personal email account during the timeframe of Plaintiff’s FOIA requests; and he understood his obligations under the Federal Records Act, including his obligation to return any agency records in his possession to the DOJ before his departure from federal employment on January 19, 2017,” DOJ lawyers wrote in a court submission.
Kadzik also conducted “follow-up searches [that] included several searches designed to locate the email described in paragraph five of the Complaint,” but neither that email nor any others responsive to Judicial Watch’s broad requests were found, the DOJ filing says.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan issued a preservation order Wednesday at Judicial Watch’s request and instructed the government to report by this morning on its efforts to comply.
In this case, we know Kadzik either destroyed the email or is lying through his teeth because we have John Podesta’s copy.
Hopefully, this mess will begin to end on Friday. But I’m not holding my breath.