A federal judge blasted the Obama administration for slow-walking the release of some of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, saying in court Monday that the government appears to be withholding information from voters ahead of the election.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the State Department in not “being all that cooperative,” and told the Justice Department lawyers to get the State Department to shape up and do its duty.
“Get with the program, so to speak, so that the people of this country can have the information they need,” he ordered. “The State Department needs to start cooperating to the fullest extent possible. They are not perceived to be doing that.”
Judge Leon, who has earned a reputation as a funny but caustic jurist, particularly when he finds government bungling, said the Justice Department, by not forcing the State Department to cooperate better, is risking its own storied reputation.
He specifically called out the federal programs branch that acts as the lawyer for the rest of the government, and the head of that division, Marcia Berman. Ms. Berman wasn’t in the courtroom Monday, but has been a frequent figure at the courthouse over the last year as the administration has had to defend its handling of Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
The case is one of dozens pending where the department has been accused of slow-walking, keeping information out of public view for far longer than is allowed under the Freedom of Information Act.