Revelation of FBI grand jury subpoenas raises more questions than it answers

Washington D.C. – Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) filed its opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss a case brought against the Secretary of State and the U.S. Archivist. The lawsuit seeks to compel the defendants to fulfill their legal obligations under the Federal Records Act to initiate action through the Attorney General to recover all of Hillary Clinton’s email records that were unlawfully removed from the State Department.

In December, 2016, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in our favor, overturning an earlier opinion by the District Court that dismissed the case as “moot.” Despite the court’s rebuke, the Secretary of State and U.S. Archivist continue to refuse to perform their statutory obligations to recover Secretary Clinton’s email records by initiating action through the Attorney General.

One new piece of information publicly revealed for the first time in the government’s motion to dismiss was that during its investigation, the FBI issued grand jury subpoenas related to Secretary Clinton’s BlackBerry email accounts. The subpoenas confirm that the FBI investigation of Secretary Clinton was criminal in nature, but details about the scope of the subpoenas remains unknown.

CoA Institute President and CEO John Vecchione: “None of the information provided by the government establishes that the federal records at issue do not exist or cannot be recovered. The government presented fundamentally the same arguments the Court of Appeals already rejected last year. It is the agencies’ statutory duty to institute proceedings through the Attorney General to recover these records. Why the agencies are fighting so hard to avoid this obligation is unexplained.”

In its cross motion filed with its opposition, CoA Institute requests the Court to grant discovery for more information about the grand jury subpoenas that could be essential to the case. The government failed to introduce any evidence to show that the results of those subpoenas establish that Secretary. Clinton’s BlackBerry emails are not recoverable through forensic means.

Read the full pleading here