Journalist files declaration supporting public interest in release of FBI declaration

Washington D.C. – Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) has made a filing in support of its motion with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, urging the judge to disclose the full contents of a redacted FBI declaration that was filed so that only the judge can review the entire statement.

The government characterized the declaration as containing new, undisclosed details about the scope of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices as Secretary of State. Specifically, the government said the declaration includes “additional details about the grand jury process . . . as well as about other sealed proceedings” and was submitted to provide “further details of the subpoenas to establish to the Court’s satisfaction the thoroughness of the inquiries made in this regard.” As a result of this litigation, the government revealed for the first time early this summer that the FBI issued grand jury subpoenas in its criminal investigation into Clinton’s email practices.

Cause of Action Institute President and CEO John J. Vecchione: “The FBI’s revelation that grand jury subpoenas were issued during its investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails revealed a criminal component. Details of these subpoenas could be critical to our case to recover those emails. Unfortunately, the government has taken a step back behind the curtain and submitted a supplemental declaration, in camera and ex parte, meaning only the judge and the government’s lawyers are allowed to see it. We can only surmise the declaration shows that the FBI issued subpoenas to the service providers in search of Ms. Clinton’s BlackBerry emails. Without access to the un-redacted declaration, we cannot know the scope of those subpoenas, nor will we be able to contest the relevance of new facts.

“The public interest in learning the extent of the government efforts to recover unlawfully removed records and basic notions of fair play outweigh the need to protect grand-jury secrecy, the existence of which the government has already revealed.  The government should not be permitted to use the grand jury information as a sword and also shield it from public view. Anglo American law frowns on litigation through secret filings. Accordingly, the Court should require the government to open the curtain, so we can properly respond to the new evidence.”

Matthew Continetti, editor in chief of the Washington Free Beacon, an independent news publication based in Arlington, Virginia, submitted a declaration urging full public disclosure of the government’s filing.  As Mr. Continetti explained:

This matter is one of intense public interest given Secretary Clinton’s nomination in 2016 by the Democratic Party for the presidency of the United States, high-profile positions in government, and continued involvement in public life…

It is essential for the public to understand the full scope and breadth of the FBI’s investigation into Secretary Clinton’s email server for the public to make an informed decision about what transpired during Secretary Clinton’s service to the State Department.  I believe the information sought by Plaintiffs would be of significant public interest and of interest to the readers of the Washington Free Beacon.

The Plaintiffs’ reply in support of its motion is available here.

Mr. Continetti’s declaration in support of the Plaintiffs’ motion is available here.

For information regarding this press release, please contact Zachary Kurz, Director of Communications: