It appears that Hillary Clinton’s legal troubles might still be haunting her. On Tuesday, a new legal development arose in the case of Clinton’s private email server. An appeals court reversed the ruling of a lower court that concluded that U.S. government agencies did everything possible to recover her missing emails.
The new ruling reverses this decision. It concludes that these agencies could have done more to retrieve the missing emails. The ruling was made by Judge Stephen Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Clinton’s presidential campaign was continually marred by the email scandal. There are some who might believe President-elect Donald Trump’s victory was, in large part, the result of this scandal.
The Email Server Scandal
While Clinton was serving as the Secretary of State between 2009 and 2012, she used a private email server to house her State Department emails instead of allowing her emails to be housed on the government’s own secure server. This is against the Federal government protocol.
Clinton turned over 55,000 emails to U.S. officials, but kept 30,000 that she claimed were not related to her work in the State Department. It’s also alleged that her team purged many of the emails and even destroyed some of her mobile devices that were used to send these emails.
The State Department did take some steps to retrieve Clinton’s emails. However, they did not request that the U.S. Attorney General take enforcement action in order to retrieve the rest of the emails.
Cause of Action and Judicial Watch, two Conservative groups filed lawsuits to force the State Department to engage the Attorney General in investigating the issue further. However in January of 2016, a district judge found that the suits brought by these organization were moot. The court stated that the State Department made a “sustained effort” to recover and preserve Clinton’s email records.
However, Judge Williams disagreed. He has concluded that the State Department should have put forth a more concerted effort to uncover any missing emails. He argued that the case was not moot because none of the agencies involved requested assistance from the Attorney General.
Judge Williams wrote:
“The Department has not explained why shaking the tree harder – e.g., by following the statutory mandate to seek action by the Attorney General – might not bear more still.”
It’s not yet clear whether or not this ruling will have an impact on the investigation because it’s not known whether or not there are any “missing emails.” However these new developments show that Hillary Clinton is not “out of the woods” yet.