Last week, federal Judge Royce Lamberth ordered the State Department and the Justice Department to hand over information related to the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. The decision was a victory for Judicial Watch, who has requested the information via a Freedom of Information Act request.
But this story did not receive any airtime on any non-Fox media outlet. Not surprisingly, the already uninterested journalists became even more uninterested in the story as soon as the latest developments in the Mueller probe became public Friday afternoon.
Judicial Watch’s legal victory was mentioned on Friday’s Fox & Friends, Outnumbered Overtime, and Hannity. Those are in addition to Friday’s edition of Fox Business Network’s After the Bell and Saturday’s Justice With Judge Jeanine. Politico did an article on these developments but its counterparts on TV preferred to spend the weekend obsessing about Russia, Russia, Russia.
During Saturday’s Justice, host Judge Jeanine Pirro spoke with Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. Pirro stated that “a federal judge apparently gave Judicial Watch...the ability to do additional fact finding into whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server was deliberate and an effort to thwart Freedom of Information.” She also told him: “I want to talk to you about a decision that didn’t make a lot of news but to me is extremely significant.”
Fitton went to explain that Lamberth has “authorized Judicial Watch to take discovery into what Mrs. Clinton was doing and how the State Department and the Justice Department were handling the e-mail system and the results of our request.” According to Fitton, Lamberth’s order allows Judicial Watch to “take testimony of witnesses and gather documents.”
While CNN did not devote any airtime to Judicial Watch’s legal victory, it did feature a story about it on its website. The completely irrelevant months-old video accompanying the article showed Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chair John Podesta ripping the former FBI Director James Comey.
Both the CNN and Politico articles mentioned how Judge Lamberth described Clinton’s e-mail practices as “one of the greatest modern offenses to modern transparency.” Both articles also included this statement from Lamberth: “At best, State’s attempts to pass-off its deficient search as legally adequate during settlement negotiations was negligence born out of incompetence. At worst, career employees in the State and Justice Departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this Court.”
The order by Judge Lamberth gave the government and Judicial Watch ten days to come up with a discovery plan, so it's safe to say this story won't receive air time between now and then.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Saturday’s edition of Justice With Judge Jeanine is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Justice With Judge Jeanine
JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO: My next guest says Special Counsel Mueller is, again, dishonestly insinuating Russian misconduct to smear President Trump. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton joins me now with more on that and his reaction to the Comey testimony transcript. All right, good evening, Tom. Thanks for being with us tonight. You know, before I get into Comey and Mueller, I want to talk to you about a decision that didn’t make a lot of news but to me is extremely significant. A federal judge apparently gave Judicial Watch, you as the President of Judicial Watch, the ability to do additional fact finding into whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server was deliberate and an effort to thwart Freedom of Information. Why now and what does it mean?
TOM FITTON: Well, the judge has been waiting for other court cases to come to a conclusion to see what else was out there to be found. He’s upset about what the Justice Department and the State Department did in terms of keeping away from the court and Judicial Watch information about this e-mail scheme. Remember, it was Judicial Watch’s litigation that uncovered the Clinton e-mail server and all those e-mails. They were forced to admit to the court they had this material and the judge is furious that they didn’t admit it earlier. And he’s angry at this Justice Department, Judge, for coming in and trying to defend the indefensible by trying to explain away what went on. So he authorized Judicial Watch to take discovery into what Mrs. Clinton was doing, how the State Department and the Justice Department were handling the e-mail system and the results of…
FITTON: …our request and so it’s a big deal. We have ten days only to come up with a discovery plan.
PIRRO: Okay but the discovery plan, is that…does that mean you can put people under oath?
FITTON: It would mean we would take testimony of witnesses and gather documents, and the sort of other evidence gathering lawyers engage in as they are trying to comply here with a court order. We have a court mandate to do this.