As Fox News reports, the transparency group Judicial Watch initially sued the State Department in 2014, seeking information about the response to the Benghazi attack after the government didn’t respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Other parallel lawsuits by Judicial Watch are probing issues like Clinton’s server, whose existence was revealed during the course of the litigation.
The State Department had immediately moved to dismiss Judicial Watch’s first lawsuit, but U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth (who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan) denied the request to dismiss the lawsuit at the time, and on Friday, he said he was happy he did, charging that State Department officials had intentionally misled him because other key documents, including those on Clinton’s email server, had not in fact been produced.
“It was clear to me that at the time that I ruled initially, that false statements were made to me by career State Department officials, and it became more clear through discovery that the information that I was provided was clearly false regarding the adequacy of the search and this – what we now know turned out to be the Secretary’s email system.”
“I don’t know the details of what kind of IG inquiry there was into why these career officials at the State Department would have filed false affidavits with me. I don’t know the details of why the Justice Department lawyers did not know false affidavits were being filed with me, but I was very relieved that I did not accept them and that I allowed limited discovery into what had happened.”
In a somewhat stunningly frank exchange with Justice Department lawyer Robert Prince, the judge pressed the issue, accusing Prince of using “doublespeak” and “playing the same word games [Clinton] played.”