Ty Clevenger, a New York lawyer, filed a Freedom of Information Act request concerning Hillary Clinton’s email investigation in March 2016. Last month, he heard back from the FBI regarding the request – and to nobody’s surprise, his request was denied.
Why was it denied?
According to the FBI, not enough “public interest” was shown to justify completing the request. The FBI says that it will only release records from files of former investigations if the subject directly consents, is deceased, or if there is strong public interest in the case.
FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy bolstered the last claim, telling Cleavenger in an email that:
“You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject.”
“It is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public’s interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA.”
Now, considering that the Clinton email investigation was a major scandal during the 2016 election that captivated a good part of the electorate, I’d say that seems like “public interest’ to me.
Clevenger was specifically looking for documents that were filed after a referral to the Department of Justice from former House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who asked the DOJ to:
“investigate and determine whether Secretary Clinton or her employees and contractors violated statutes that prohibit destruction of records, obstruction of congressional inquiries, and concealment or cover up of evidence material to a congressional investigation.”
Clinton was found to have used a secret, non-government, server during her time as Secretary of State. The FBI determined that she did not deserve charges because she allegedly did not know the dangers of having a secret serve, even though sje did put national security at risk.
Cleavenger said of the ruling to the Washington Times:
“I’m just stunned. This is exactly what I would have expected had Mrs. Clinton won the election, but she didn’t. It looks like the Obama administration is still running the FBI.”
“How can a story receive national news coverage and not be a matter of public interest? If this is the new standard, then there’s no such thing as a public interest exception.”
A petition has already been started to refute Hardy’s claims and prove that there IS interest in the Clinton email scandal- sign in here!
UPDATE: As of today there are OVER 24,620 signatures on the petition.
Something is seriously up with this FBI investigation if they think there’s no “public interest.” Sounds like a lame excuse. Luckily we have people like Ty Cleavenger willing to get to the bottom of it one and for all! Get on that petition and sign away, Patriots!