A federal judge called former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Saagar Enjeti ponders Hillary Clinton's 2020 plans Political ad spending set to explode in 2020 MORE's use of a private email server while in office "one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency."

Judge Royce Lamberth sharply criticized both Clinton and lawyers for the Trump administration in a ruling Thursday granting the conservative group Judicial Watch discovery in their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State and Justice departments.

Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, slammed both the use of the server and the government's investigation.

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"At best, State's efforts to pass off its deficient search as legally adequate during settlement negotiations was negligence born out of incompetence," Lamberth wrote of the department's review of emails Clinton provided to investigators.

"At worst, career employees at the State and Justice departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this court," he added.

In his ruling, Lamberth ordered the agencies to develop a plan with Judicial Watch for a discovery plan within 10 days that will determine whether Clinton used the server to evade FOIA requests. He also ruled that the plan should determine whether the State Department sought to settle the case with Judicial Watch "despite knowing the inadequacies of the initial search constituted bad faith."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE and Republicans have blasted Clinton's use of a private server to send and receive emails pertaining to her government work. An FBI probe into her use of the server ended with no charges filed.

Judicial Watch alleges that Clinton used the server to avoid public scrutiny of her work.