Releasing thousands of emails per month until they are all out……
For Team Clinton, it’s become the equivalent of a courtroom quagmire.
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is finding it difficult to move past the controversy over her email setup while she was serving as the nation’s top diplomat, in part because of the nearly three-dozen legal challenges related to it.
There are 35 separate, active public records lawsuits against the State Department that deal with the emails of Clinton or her top aides.
The courtroom drama will likely drag on for months, keeping the email issue in the headlines even as Clinton seeks to go on the attack against her 2016 rivals.
“The biggest potential liability of it has nothing to do with the emails themselves and it has more to do with the fact that people doubt that Clinton is particularly trustworthy in the first place — this just makes that concern salient,” said Jennifer Lawless, a political science professor at American University.
“In some ways, the longer this story is out there, the more reason people will have to continue to doubt her trustworthiness.”
The State Department requested to have 32 of the cases consolidated earlier this month, so that the 17 different judges responsible for them would coordinate their demands and refrain from issuing “a hodgepodge of orders.”
However, the cases all concern different issues and are at different stages.
One judge, Reggie Walton, told government lawyers this month that “there may be some reluctance” to coordinate on the cases.
The lawsuits cover a wide swath of ground.
Some are demanding that the former secretary’s private server, which is now in the hands of the FBI, be searched for emails that may belong to the State Department. Reports suggest that FBI officials may already be able to pull old deleted emails from that machine.
Other lawsuits are aimed at obtaining messages from Clinton’s top aides, including Huma Abedin — whose unusual employment arrangement allowed her to work part-time for a consulting company while also serving in the State Department — Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines.
Others still are focused specifically on information related to the 2012 attack on an American facility in Benghazi, Libya.
The conservative group Judicial Watch alone has filed 20 lawsuits against the State Department seeking documents. Citizens United, another conservative advocacy organization, has filed at least four.
“We’re just looking for the answers,” Citizens United President David Bossie told reporters this week, after yet another hearing before a federal judge.
Bossie this week accused the former secretary of State and her allies of stonewalling Congress and the public in order to protect her presidential ambitions.