The FBI rejected a request Monday from a lawyer seeking information relating to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ’s emails, as the bureau claimed there was a supposed lack of public interest to justify the release.
The lawyer, Ty Clevenger, said he has made mutliple attempts to have Clinton and several of her personal lawyers disbarred for the manner in which they handled classified information on Clinton’s private email server during her time as secretary of state.
FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy wrote a letter to Clevenger Monday, claiming he has not shown the public is committed to the issue surrounding Clinton’s emails.
“You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject,” the letter said.
“It is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public’s interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA,” Hardy added.
The decision by Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, to send and receive classified information through her private email server was a top issue during the 2016 presidential election.
Then-FBI Director James Comey announced in July 2016 that he would not recommend charges against Clinton, even though he said what she did was “extremely careless.”
Comey questioned Clinton’s judgment, indicated she gave misleading statements surrounding her use of the private email server and suggested it was possible hostile foreign governments had at some point been able to access her email account.
The FBI indicated it is common practice to only release records if the subject of the inquiry consents to their release or is deceased, or if public interest in the matter supersedes privacy issues.
Clevenger told The Washington Times it was unclear why the bureau felt the public has lost interest in Clinton’s email scandal.
Clevenger said he cited the fact that House Republicans recently requested an investigation into whether Clinton perjured herself during testimony before Congress regarding her email scandal.
“I’m just stunned. This is exactly what I would have expected had Mrs. Clinton won the election, but she didn’t. It looks like the Obama administration is still running the FBI,” Clevenger said.
“How can a story receive national news coverage and not be a matter of public interest? If this is the new standard, then there’s no such thing as a public interest exception,” he added.
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source: Western Journalism