WASHINGTON – The State Department must make a good-faith effort to recover outstanding Benghazi-related emails sent by three of Hillary’s Clinton’s closest aides during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat, a federal judge has ruled.
“The court finds that State’s search was inadequate insofar as it did not search the official state.gov e-mail accounts of Secretary Clinton’s three aides, and orders State to conduct a supplemental search of those accounts,” United States District Judge Amit Metha wrote Tuesday in the 10-page judgment.
The ruling lists the former Clinton aides as Huma Abedin, former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and ex-deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, and requires the State Department to report back to the court with a status update by Sept. 22.
The search was ordered via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation initiated by the conservative-leaning transparency advocacy group Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a Tuesday statement that the ruling might help lead to answers about what Clinton knew about the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack in which four Americans – including Ambassador Christopher Stevens – were killed.
“This major court ruling may finally result in more answers about the Benghazi scandal-and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in it – as we approach the attack’s fifth anniversary,” Fitton said.
Judicial Watch successfully sued the State Department last year to obtain the expedited release of thousands of potentially Benghazi-related Clinton emails.
Clinton blamed the attack on an anti-Muslim video that stirred up protesters, but simultaneously told her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and other governments that it was a terrorist endeavor.
Clinton told the House Select Committee on Benghazi in October 2015 that she neither sent nor received classified information on the private email server she had used.
Former FBI Director James Comey later told the House Oversight Committee that Clinton had not been entirely truthful when making that statement.