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Clinton Lawyers to Face Bar Investigation in Maryland per Judge’s Order

Daniel Melool

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On Monday a judge in Maryland ordered the state bar to conduct an investigation into the lawyers that helped former Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton delete her private emails. According to The Washington Times, Circuit Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. called the complaints against David E. Kendall, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson ”egregious”, stating that the state bar could not brush them aside by calling them ”frivolous”.

At a hearing on Monday morning, Judge Harris said, ”These are allegations of destroying evidence”. He also stated that the bar is required to conduct an investigation under state rules.

The complaint was brought by New York City lawyer, Ty Clevenger, who filed a freedom of information act back in august requesting documents, including emails exchanged with congress regarding the Clinton email investigation. Clevenger was denied by the FBI, who stated, ”You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interest of the subject”.

FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy wrote, ” it is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public’s interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA”. He also said, ”Therefore, records regarding your subject are withheld pursuant to FOIA exemptions”. Mr. Clevenger appealed to the Justice Department, which ruled that his request would be expedited. This signals that it accepts his claim of public interest.

This was not the only time Mr. Clevenger was denied such a request; bars in Arkansas and the District of Columbia, and even federal courts brushed aside his requests. However, Judge Harris said that Mr. Clevenger’s request has merit, and Maryland will have to launch an investigation and demand a response from the lawyers.

The Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission tried to silence Mr. Clevenger last year, averring he had, ”no personal knowledge of the allegations”. On Monday, Alexis Rohde, a lawyer representing the grievance commission said, ”Because these complaints are confidential, I am unable to put that before the court”. Judge Harris rejected the explanation, explaining that it was the first time the commission had used the term ”frivolous” to explain a decision. He also said the rules were clear that the commission had to investigate. The Judge stated, ”I just think this is a rather easy decision at this point”. ”The court is ordering bar counsel to investigate.

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