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Noah Feldman

Judicial Watch's Pursuit of Clinton Goes Too Far

The Freedom of Information Act isn't meant for this.
Under the microscope.

Under the microscope.

Photographer: Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images

The Clintons have been subject to fishing expeditions before, but why is a federal court making Hillary Clinton give sworn responses now to questions about her use of a private e-mail server back when she was secretary of state? This all stems from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by a conservative group seeking State Department information about Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin. With a series of permissive rulings, the judge has allowed the suit to get out of hand. It’s now an inquiry into Clinton’s motives in using her private server -- something well beyond the contemplation of the freedom of information laws.

Judicial Watch, which initiated the suit, is a founding member of Hillary Clinton’s “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Founded by the lawyer Larry Klayman and given early funding by conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife (remember him?), it brought some choice lawsuits against Bill Clinton back in the 1990s. Its favored method is the FOIA suit.