By Julian Hattem - 03/15/16 09:09 AM EDT
The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Tuesday filed four lawsuits to force the federal government to hand over documents related to Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonRNC’s Katie Walsh: A behind-the-scenes leader Trump courts energy industry Green Party could be election spoiler MORE’s time as secretary of State.
The suits represent an escalation of the GOP’s effort to force the disclosure of the emails. The RNC claims that the State Department had for months slow-walked its response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
The new legal broadsides come on top of a pair of lawsuits that the RNC filed last week seeking access to emails from Clinton and her top State Department aides, as well as messages between the State Department and Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The ballooning controversy surrounding Clinton’s private server has overwhelmed the State Department, which has been battling dozens of open records lawsuits connected to the Democratic presidential front-runner. The department released the final batch of the roughly 30,000 emails that Clinton sent or received while in office late last month after a nearly year-long process of review.
Critics of Clinton’s unusual email setup worry that the system may have allowed her to skirt federal recordkeeping laws or might have jeopardized the security of classified information.
Her skeptics have also raised questions about the nebulous link between her work for the government and the efforts of her family foundation.
The FBI is currently investigating the security of Clinton’s server and whether she or her top aides mishandled classified information. According to Fox News, the probe has expanded to also include the possibility that Clinton’s association with the Clinton Foundation violated public corruption laws.
Tuesday’s lawsuits, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, demand that the State Department hand over a wide range of documents connected to Clinton’s time as the nation’s top diplomat.
One asks for communications between officials at the U.S. Agency for International Development and both the State Department and Clinton’s affiliate outside organizations, such as the Clinton Foundation.
The second asks for documents about how State Department officials were trained to handle classified information.
The third lawsuit asks for communication between the State Department staffers and the Clinton Foundation, as well as other Clinton-linked groups.
The final lawsuits asks for visitor logs for Clinton’s personal office and the State Department’s Diplomatic Reception Room as well as details about a program to fund the historic room’s renovation.
All four FOIA requests were filed last year, the RNC claimed, with the earliest being sent in September.
Under FOIA, document requesters can sue to obtain government materials if the federal agency denies attempts to obtain the documents or if an appeal is ignored.