In response to a lawsuit filed by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, a federal judge ordered the State Department to resume its search for emails and other records relating to the 2012 Benghazi attack which left four Americans dead in Libya.

D.C. District Court Judge Amit Mehta found the State Department had not fulfilled its responsibility to properly search for all documents relating to the attack that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others at the U.S. Embassy in Libya dead.

In the ruling Judge Mehta announced, “The court finds that State’s search was inadequate insofar as it did not search the official e-mail accounts of Secretary Clinton’s three aides, and orders State to conduct a supplemental search of those accounts.”

According to The Hill, “the aides include Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff; Cheryl Mills, former chief of staff; and Jacob Sullivan, former director of policy planning.

Judge Mehta noted that “while the State Department likely won’t be able to ‘adequately’ produce emails sent from Clinton’s private email server while she served at the time as secretary of state, the agency has an obligation to search its own server for responsive records.”

Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request in 2015 shortly after news broke that Hilliary Clinton used a private server while serving as Secretary of State. Two months later, when the State Department failed to comply with the FOIA request, Judicial Watch filed a federal lawsuit to obtain the information.

On Thursday, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton praised the judge’s ruling saying, “this major court ruling may finally result in more answers about the Benghazi scandal — and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in it — as we approach the attack’s fifth anniversary.”

Judge Mehta gave the State Department a September 22 deadline to report to the court on the progress of the additional search.


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