Skip to comments.Biden’s Supreme Court Pick Shielded Top Clinton Aide Amid Email Scandal
Posted on 03/02/2022 7:34:56 AM PST by george76
resident Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee shielded one of Hillary Clinton’s top State Department aides from scrutiny about his use of a personal email account to conduct official business.
Then-U.S. district judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in 2015 denied Gawker’s request for details about press aide Philippe Reines's stewardship of the account in the context of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, which sought emails Reines traded with 34 different media outlets. Jackson blocked Gawker’s request, calling it "extraordinary" and claiming there was no proof that Reines had acted in "bad faith" by using a personal email address.
Like Clinton, Reines often communicated with the press via a personal email account. That meant his communiqués were not preserved on State Department systems. When Gawker filed a FOIA request for Reines’s emails in September 2012, State Department officials were thus unable to turn up responsive records, prompting the lawsuit.
The State Department asked Reines to turn over whatever government records were in his possession around the time of the Gawker lawsuit, which he did via his lawyers in July 2015, two years after he left government service. Jackson therefore agreed to give the State Department additional time to sort through the "new" Reines records and turn them over to Gawker. Jackson supervised that process and lawyers for the parties kept her up to date on their progress via status hearings and reports.
Gawker put the screws to Reines, seeking affidavits that swore he had turned over all relevant documents and describing his methods for surrendering records to State.
"It is difficult to view the timeline of events surrounding the compilation of records responsive to Gawker’s FOIA request as anything short of a bureaucratic and managerial catastrophe," lawyers for Gawker wrote in a 2015 filing. "State has provided scant information regarding why it was not until 2015 that it finally sought to gather the records from Mr. Reines."
Jackson denied that request, calling it "extraordinary." She said that the State Department had no obligation under FOIA "to solicit or produce" documents in an ex-official’s sole possession. And there’s a crucial difference, she added, between producing requested documents—which is within the scope of FOIA—and the initial decision whether to retain said documents.
"An agency’s threshold determination regarding which records to retain in its files is entirely distinct from the agency’s subsequent search of maintained records pursuant to the FOIA—and these two duties should not be conflated," she wrote in an opinion denying Gawker’s request.
The decision was the only opinion Jackson handed down over the course of the dispute.
Jackson’s opinion parted ways with a colleague on the Washington federal trial court, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. In a separate lawsuit, Sullivan required Clinton herself and two of her top aides, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, to submit affidavits along the lines Gawker sought. Gawker’s request mentioned Sullivan’s order and may have been based upon it.
Jackson said the Reines case was different because there was evidence that Clinton’s email system was designed to skirt FOIA altogether. In the Reines-Gawker fracas, she said there was a "total absence of any indicia of bad faith" on Reines’s part.
In fact, Reines explicitly wrote, "I want to avoid FOIA" on an email exchange from his personal account with John Heilemann and Mark Halperin in February 2009, around the time he joined the State Department. That indicia of bad faith was not in the record before Jackson so far as the Washington Free Beacon could tell.
Reines’s colorful if bizarre exchanges with the Free Beacon over his spat with Gawker helped cost him a job on Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. The clash ended when Gawker abandoned the case in 2017.
I am sure this will be a shit show like Kavanaugh Barrett Thomas Bork......... /s
Doesn’t matter sand you know it.
I’m just sorry the Fraternal Order of Police have apparently endorsed her... and this in the OP is a scandal certainly.
She could have killed and eaten puppies while being videoed, and it wouldn’t matter. She has the awesome power of being a black female, and that cannot be defeated in woke America.
What you said is true, literally. That is how far this nation has sunk.
Plain and simple, judges like her protect the dishonest, destructive deeds carried on by Democrats and Deep Staters. It is not a nasty political hit job to vote against her confirmation because she is dishonest and protects the Rats and Deep State. The American public should understand exactly what they are getting if she is confirmed. And if she is confirmed, that is enough reason to vote against Democrats until the end of time. The Republicans should squeal very loudly about her dishonesty, but steer away from idiocy like the Rats pulled against Kavanaugh.
DIRTYSECRET commented, "Doesn’t matter sand you know it."
Yes, you're right, but it SHOULD matter. In fact, it should disqualify her for allowing the use of a personal email address for government business. Anyone with even half a brain knows that this personal email address, like Mrs. Bill Clinton's personal server, were set up to avoid scrutiny and hide what was going on.
Americans can’t trust the FBI, IRS, CIA, judicial system etc, it’s all corrupt. It will never change, I fear it will be the reason our system collapses.
Perhaps she was chosen for merit (of helping top Dems skirt the law)
Watch how many of the GOP Senators vote to confirm.
Oh, sure - we're just going to give her a pass on all the male conservative commentators that she raped when they were teenagers?
“Anyone with even half a brain knows that this personal email address, like Mrs. Bill Clinton’s personal server, were set up to avoid scrutiny and hide what was going on.”
Yes, and even if we wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, the fact that he was corresponding with 34(!) media outlets from his personal email is a red flag of malfeasance. This was NOT a public relations officer. It wasn’t his job to send out press releases. So simple logic tells us he was either leaking or colluding with compliant lackeys in the media and didn’t want that to come out in FOIA requests.
I know. It is unconscionable to vote to confirm a nominee that has behaved like she has. You DON’T vote to CONFIRM dishonest judges.
LOL Well, just like in Kavanaugh’s case, they shouldn’t have waited until she was nominated to SCOTUS to come forward and confront her!!!
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