The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit ruled to revive a 2015 litigation demanding that US Secretary of State John Kerry ask the Attorney General for help in recovering more emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server.
This ruling means that the Justice Department will have to decide if it wants to retrieve all the emails Clinton and her aides ‘allegedly’ unlawfully took with them when they left the State Department.
In 2015 a civil suit was launched to retrieve the contents of the emails Clinton was legally required to return to the State Department once she ended her tenure as secretary of state in 2013. The lawsuit was declared subject to debate by the Court of Appeals. In its ruling the Appeals Court said “because neither the current Secretary nor the Archivist asked the Attorney General to initiate an enforcement action, appellants sued to compel that request.”
The court also said it would not express an opinion on whether the Attorney General’s action or inaction in response to a referral would be reviewable.
Nor do they address possible constitutional defenses that the Secretary or Archivist might raise to the statutory command’s constraint on their discretion; they have raised no such argument.
Clinton’s use of a private email server and account during her tenure as US Secretary of State for work related purposes became publicly known in 2015.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a criminal probe into Clinton non-government email account and eventually suggested filing no charges in the case, stating there was no case to answer.
It is alleged that Clinton had deleted 33,000 of her emails after receiving a subpoena to submit them, while her closest associates destroyed at least 13 blackberry and related devices used to communicate with Clinton.