WASHINGTON — In a potential blow to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign, a
federal judge yesterday ordered the White House to search its computer
archives for any e-mail tied to three cases in which the White House –
allegedly at the direction of the first lady — is accused of violating the
Internal e-mails sent or received by the first lady and some of her
closest advisers — including Maggie Williams and Marsha Scott — are among
those that must be turned over to a public-interest law firm by the end of
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth gave the White House 20 days to comply
with the order. His ruling speeds the discovery process in
Watch’s $90 million Filegate lawsuit against the FBI and White House. Hillary Clinton is among the listed defendants.
The suit charges that the White House, on the first lady’s orders, used sensitive FBI background files on former employees to smear them. It encompasses the Travel Office firings, as well as the campaigns to discredit witnesses Kathleen Willey and Linda Tripp during the impeachment crisis.
All told, 33 former and current White House officials, including the first lady and the president, are subject to the e-mail search. At a minimum, the messages are expected to reveal information that could prove embarrassing to the first lady as she runs for New York’s Senate seat.
The order covers only easily searched e-mail archived by the Automated Records Management System in the White House. Lamberth will rule later on Judicial Watch’s request for a separate search of at least 246,083 e-mails that somehow escaped ARMS, but are stored on back-up tapes.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton hailed the decision as a major victory for his clients. He says the White House has been “stalling” on the production of e-mails since 1997.
Since then, lawyers for the White House and Justice Department have filed a series of motions objecting to the e-mail request as “overbroad” and “unduly burdensome.”
Though Lamberth finally overrode their motions, he still narrowed the search to exclude:
- All but one of the 19 ARMS database “buckets” in which e-mails are stored. Only e-mails stored in the White House Office bucket will searched. The Office of the Vice President bucket, for one, won’t be searched.
- “Travel Office” as a key search term.
- “HRC” (Hillary Rodham Clinton) as a search term.
- “FLOTUS” (First Lady of the United States) as a search term.
- “DNC” or “Democratic National Committee” as search terms.
- The e-mail account of Lisa Caputo, Hillary Clinton’s former press secretary.
- E-mails of Thomas “Mack” McLarty, Clinton’s former chief of staff, as well as those of John Podesta, Clinton’s current chief of staff.
- E-mails of Joel Klein, former deputy White House counsel. Tripp testified he kept a credenza full of files on “enemies of the White House.”
What’s more, the judge is leaving it up to White House lawyers to determine the “relevance” of searched e-mails before turning them over. They also can “discard” attached documents as they see fit.
Regarding the White House’s stockpiling of more than 900 FBI files, the court orders the White House to search the archived e-mails of Hillary Clinton, Williams, Scott, former White House political director Harold Ickes, now a Hillary campaign adviser, as well as 23 other White House officials.
Search terms are limited to: “background report,” “summary report,” “OPS” (Office of Personnel Security), “Dale” (fired Travel Office director Billy Dale), “Marceca” (Anthony Marceca, detailee involved in Filegate), “update project,” “personnel security,” “FBI files,” “Sculimbrene” (Dennis Sculimbrene, smeared White House FBI agent), “James Baker,” “Marlin Fitzwater,” “BI,” “Privacy Act” and “Brasseux.”
The White House must conduct searches back to January 1993.
Regarding the Pentagon’s release of arrest data in Tripp’s personnel file to The New Yorker magazine, the court orders the White House to search the archived e-mails of Hillary Clinton, Ickes and a dozen other White House officials.
Search terms are limited to: “Tripp,” “Jane Mayer” (a New Yorker reporter), “arrest record,” “Bacon” (Ken Bacon, Pentagon spokesman who OK’d release of Tripp data) and “Bernath” (Cliff Bernath, Pentagon flack who gave information to Mayer).
The White House must search back to January 1998.
Regarding the release of letters to President Clinton from Kathleen Willey, the court orders the White House to search the e-mails of Hillary Clinton, Ickes and 15 other White House officials.
Key search term: “Willey.”
E-mails must be searched for the period of January 1998 to present.
WorldNetDaily Exclusive: Read the
White House e-mail audit
report. This 75-page document details the 500+ e-mail accounts supposedly affected by computer problems in the White House.