The State Department argued at a federal hearing Thursday that its ability to process the 100,000 Hillary Clinton emails ordered released under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit has been hindered by a lack of manpower due to a “hiring freeze” and that the urgency to release the documents has been diminished by the public’s lack of interest in the subject, according to the watchdog group that won the lawsuit for the document’s release.
But Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that sued the State Department in May 2015 for the thousands of emails and documents, isn’t buying it.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton is accusing the State Department of slow-rolling the emails being sent from the FBI to the State Department, a large number of which Clinton “failed to disclose” to the government when she served as secretary of state, he said.
On July 15, the FBI allegedly turned over to the State Department a new disk of emails belonging to former Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The emails were apparently discovered on a laptop owned by Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. Weiner pleaded guilty in May to sending a number of text messages and sexually explicit pictures last year to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.
There apparently are 7,000 emails from Abedin on Weiner’s laptop, said Fitton, who added that State Department and Justice Department lawyers are “claiming they have to appraise them, whether they are personal or government, and then sift through what can be shared publicly.”