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Federal Court Renews Clinton Email Investigation

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Legal woes may not be over yet for former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. A federal appeals court has revived two lawsuits aimed at the former secretary of state and her email scandal.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has overruled two decisions by a lower court, according to Politico.

Both cases involve watchdog groups -- Judicial Watch, in one case, and Cause of Action in another -- that filed suit in 2015 involving the State Department, Justice Department and National Archives, asking for missing federal records and emails to be recovered.

The suits also ask the agencies to bring a civil lawsuit against Clinton as she used two private email accounts while secretary of state and only switched to her private server after two months of being secretary of state, in March 2009, according to Reuters.

"Even though those efforts bore some fruit, the [State] 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,” Appeals Judge Stephen Williams wrote in a majority opinion overturning one of the lower courts’ decisions, notes Politico. “It is therefore abundantly clear that, in terms of assuring government recovery of emails, appellants have not 'been given everything [they] asked for' … Absent a showing that the requested enforcement action could not shake loose a few more emails, the case is not moot."

According to Reuters, the State Department has declined comment, stating that it does not do so on pending litigation.

Williams added, "While the case might well ... be moot if a referral were pointless (e.g., because no imaginable enforcement action by the Attorney General could lead to recovery of the missing emails), the record here provides no factual support for finding mootness on that basis."

The rulings offer the possibility of dismissal on each case, but also have not stated whether the attorney general would be required to sue if presented with a referral. 

Sources: Reuters, Politico / Photo credit: Michael Coghlan/Flickr

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