A conservative government watchdog group has scored a major victory: a U.S. district judge ordered the U.S. Department of State to release text from two of Hillary Clinton's 2012 emails that had previously been redacted.
The nonprofit group, Judicial Watch, announced the news on May 5 in a press release. According to the Judicial Watch statement, the two emails, titled "Quick Summary of POTUS Calls to Presidents of Libya and Egypt," were sent on September 13, 2012, two days after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. government compounds in Benghazi, Libya.
"The full emails may reveal what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama knew about the Sept. 11, 2012, terror attack," Judicial Watch said in a statement.
During the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that the watchdog group filed to release Clinton's emails, the State Department used a "deliberative process" exemption in order to treat some of their previously unclassified documents as classified; however, the judge did not accept that the information was not classified due to a "mistake."
"[The State Department] has pointed to very little to support its characterization of these two records as deliberative, and the Court's in camera review of the documents reveals that they do not fall within that category," said U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
The watchdog group said that those emails, which the Department of Justice said were accidentally mislabeled, were "part of a deliberate effort" to "protect Clinton and the agency" since her non-secure email server was not authorized to handle classified information.
"Does President Trump know his State and Justice Departments are still trying to provide cover for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?" Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. "An extraordinary court ruling that could result in key answers about the Benghazi outrage is being opposed by the Trump administration. This may well be an example of the 'deep state' trying to get away with a cover up -- if so then the Trump administration must put a stop to it."
Despite leaning to the right, the group has come down hard on President Trump before. In March, Judicial Watch obtained and released the amount that taxpayers have spent on Trump's visits to his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago, which came out to $1,281,420 for two weekends in February and March, according to The Hill.
"We're preparing to go to court to get a full accounting of President Trump's controversial trips," Fitton said, according to The Hill. "Judicial Watch tracked some of the costs of President Obama's unnecessary travel and we're not closing up shop with a new administration."