Department of Justice officials filed a motion in federal court late Wednesday seeking a 27-month delay in producing correspondence between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s four top aides and officials with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a closely allied public relations firm that Bill Clinton helped launch.
If the court permits the delay, the public won’t be able to read the communications until October 2018, about 22 months into her prospective first term as President. The four senior Clinton aides involved were Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Fuchs, Ambassador-At-Large Melanne Verveer, Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin.
The State Department originally estimated that 6,000 emails and other documents were exchanged by the aides with the Clinton Foundation. But a series of “errors” the department told the court about Wednesday evening now mean the total has grown to “34,116 potentially responsive documents.”
During Clinton’s four years as America’s chief foreign diplomat, her aides communicated with officials at the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings where Bill Clinton was formerly both a client and paid consultant, on the average of 700 times each month, according to the Justice Department filing.
The State Department also revealed that despite the large number of requests seeking information about Secretary Clinton’s ties to the Clinton Foundation over the last two years, the Obama administration has not requested additional funds for reviewers.
The amount budgeted has remained at about $16 million over the last several years, according to Eric Stein, co-director of the State Department Office of Information Programs and Services. The department claims with its current workforce, it would only be able to release 500 documents each month.
The FBI has a “public corruption” probe underway investigating whether Clinton used her position to benefit or recruit donors to the Clinton Foundation.
In addition to the Clinton Foundation, Citizens United requested communications between the four aides and Teneo Holdings, the firm created by Doug Band, Bill Clinton’s personal aide in the White House and thereafter as a former chief executive. The former President was a paid consultant to Teneo until 2012.
Huma Abedin simultaneously served as an employee for both Teneo and as deputy chief of staff to Clinton at the State Department in 2012, an issue which Congress has raised as a key conflict of interest.
Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff also worked at the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative while she served at the State Department.
It was absolutely illegal for Abedin to work for Teneo while employed by the State Department, but this, too, is being ignored. The IT specialist used by Clinton to manage her illegal server has been granted immunity for his role, yet still invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 125 times in a recent deposition that certainly suggests serious infractions and more. He must be frightened of potential consequences to invoke that protection while simultaneously being protected with immunity.
While there appears to be much more that needs to be investigated, there should be ample evidence from what has been discovered so far to indict Hillary. The question is if the Justice Department will be willing to accept the recommendation, which would seriously damage or destroy Clinton's run for the presidency. To that end, it was interesting that Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch for a private conversation in Phoenix recently.
The meeting is being billed as strictly social, which is unlikely, and if Lynch decides to not hear the FBI case, there will be serious repercussions from the public, given the clear and voluminous evidence that Hillary has broken the law and national secrecy directives. But the Clintons have somehow been able to avoid well-merited prosecution in the past, and this could very well be the case once again.