RNC demands Clinton aides’ emails be released before election

RNC demands Clinton aides’ emails be released before election
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The Republican National Committee (RNC) is slamming the State Department’s “tortoise-like review” of emails to or from three senior Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMissing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani On The Money: Trump downplays urgency of China trade talks | Chinese negotiators cut US trip short in new setback | Trump sanctions Iran's national bank | Survey finds Pennsylvania, Wisconsin lost the most factory jobs in past year Meghan McCain, Ana Navarro get heated over whistleblower debate MORE aides, demanding they be released before the general election in November.

Two weeks after the Obama administration claimed it would take at least 75 years to process the documents demanded as part of an open records lawsuit, the RNC filed a court motion accusing the government of using “stall tactics” and misleading legal tricks.

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Information about Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is needed now, the RNC said.

“In an election year, stale information is of no value at all,” RNC lawyers wrote in the filing late Monday evening. “If there were ever a case for enforcing the public-disclosure laws that Congress enacted, it is this one. The American people should not have to wait decades to learn the truth about Secretary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.

“They are entitled to know the truth before voting in November.”

The filing comes in one of several open records lawsuits the RNC has launched to obtain emails from senior aides to Clinton, who has been lambasted for using a private email setup throughout her tenure at the State Department.

In the case, the RNC is asking for subsets of records from undersecretary of management Patrick Kennedy, former IT aide Bryan Pagliano and ex-chief of staff Cheryl Mills. It initially also requested materials from former State Department adviser Jake Sullivan, but that request has since been withdrawn.

The RNC originally also sought all text and BlackBerry messages to or from Clinton during her time in office, but the State Department has said that none exist.

The State Department has tried to kill the lawsuit and defended the decades it has estimated it would need to make the emails public.   

“It’s not an outlandish estimation, believe it or not,” spokesman Mark Toner said earlier this month.

The State Department is routinely criticized for the lengthy amount of time it takes to respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The number of open records requests has ramped up dramatically over the course of the last year as Clinton has barreled toward the Democratic nomination.

In the 81-page Monday evening filing, the RNC accused the Obama administration of lumping all the requests together, instead of viewing them individually, painting a misleading picture about its ability to process the documents.

It also took aim at the State Department’s claim it can process roughly 500 pages of emails per month.

“According to the agency, it must move at that snail’s pace regardless of whether the responsive emails reveal classified material or contain only a one-line lunch order or YouTube forward,” the RNC said in its filing.

Such a pace, it added, is “uniquely (indeed, historically) slow.”

Clinton’s unusual email setup is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation and was heavily criticized in a May inspector general report.

Conservatives have alleged for months that her use of the server, housed in the basement of her New York home, might have violated federal laws regarding recordkeeping, open records or protection of sensitive information.

“[T]he revelations about Secretary Clinton’s private email server have raised serious questions about whether she knowingly, and with her staff’s knowledge or consent, violated federal law,” the RNC said.

“Before November comes, the American people deserve to know, to the greatest extent possible, the uncensored truth about Secretary Clinton’s time at the State Department.”