A federal judge ordered the State Department preserve documents related to top Hillary Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, after a warning the emails and other records might be destroyed.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of Washington, D.C. issued the order late Friday regarding a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch.
“The court hereby directs the government to request that Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Ms. Huma Abedin, and Ms. Cheryl Mills i) not delete any federal documents, electronic or otherwise, in their possession or control, and ii) provide appropriate assurances to the Government that the above-named individuals will not delete any such documents,” the court order says.
“The Government shall inform the Court of the status of its compliance with this Order no later than August 12, 2015, including a copy of any assurances provided by Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills that they will not delete any federal documents in their possession or control. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on August 7, 2015,” the court order continues.
Mills’ attorney said that she told Mills to destroy federal records in her possession by August 10, according to Judicial Watch. So Judicial Watch had issued an urgent response Friday warning the court federal records could be destroyed.
“The destruction of federal documents in the face of a court order is par for the course for a Clinton-related scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “If not for the swift action of Judicial Watch’s legal team and an alert federal judge, there is no telling what important public information would have lost forever. The Obama State Department, Hillary Clinton, Cheryl Mills, and Huma Abedin should heed the court’s orders to preserve government records or face severe legal consequences.”
Neither the Clinton campaign nor the State Department immediately responded to inquiries from TheBlaze.
The court initially ordered the State Department on July 31 to request Clinton and her top aids confirm under penalty of perjury that they have produced all of government records in their possession and to return any other government records immediately.
The court order comes as the FBI is reportedly investigating whether any of Clinton’s emails on a private server included classified information while she served as secretary of state.
Judicial Watch is also seeking records on a controversial employment situation of Abedin at the State Department.