On Monday, a federal court will hear from government watchdog Judicial Watch regarding their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks the release of emails from former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
According to the lawsuit, Judicial Watch is specifically seeking emails “relating to official United States Government business sent to or from” Johnson.
Homeland Security was bound by law to respond to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request by December 29, 2015. However, the agency claims that the emails requested are inaccessible, which is ridiculous, and too troublesome to recover, which is probably closer to the truth.
Judicial Watch reports:
Judicial Watch previously obtained and made public 215 pages of documents containing official emails sent through the private, unsecure email accounts of Johnson, former Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, former Chief of Staff Christian Marrone, and former General Counsel Steven Bunnell. The documents include emails discussing high-level meetings Johnson was to have with the Kuwaiti ambassador and Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry officials, as well as a West African $4.5 million online consumer fraud scam using Johnson’s name.
Prior to the Obama administration’s leaving office, Judge Moss ordered the Department of Homeland Security to preserve email records sought by Judicial Watch “to minimize the risk of an inadvertent loss of potentially responsive emails.” In petitioning the court for the preservation order, Judicial Watch argued:
A court order requiring preservation of these emails is particularly necessary now as DHS has suggested that these officials may have been acting without authorization by sending emails from these accounts … As such, there is no assurance that these officials will abide by a “request” by the agency to preserve these emails, particularly after their employment ends.…
Judicial Watch previously uncovered documents revealing that Secretary Jeh Johnson and 28 other agency officials used government computers to access personal web-based email accounts despite an agency-wide ban due to heightened security concerns. The documents also reveal that Homeland Security officials misled Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) when Perry specifically asked whether personal accounts were being used for official government business.
In a similar fashion to Hillary Clinton and her use of an illegal email server, here is another high-level cabinet member utilizing private, unsecured email accounts to send information, which is a violation of the law! Yet, what do we hear constantly coming out of these same people’s mouths concerning whistleblowers and leakers? They are said to be the lawless ones!
Monday’s hearing is scheduled to take place at 2 pm EST at the US District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, DC.