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(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released the deposition transcript of Karin Lang, director of executive secretariat staff and designated representative for the State Department. The Lang transcript is available here. Lang was designated by the State Department as its 30(b)(6) witness. A 30(b)(6) witness is assigned to provide the agency’s testimony on the Clinton email issue.
Lang testified that key State Department federal recordkeeping officials did not know that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin were using non-state.gov email to conduct government business. She also testified that the State Department could not say whether Clinton or Abedin has turned over all emails in their possession that may be potentially responsive to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of the Information Act (FOIA) request. Lang also said that it would not be reasonable to search all 70,000 State Department email accounts in order to retrieve Clinton’s emails. (Clinton has suggested that the State Department would have many of her emails because she sent most of them to State Department employees on their government accounts.)
Q Was Mrs. Clinton's e-mail searched in response to this FOIA request at that time, in November 2013?
A In November 2013, former Secretary Clinton's e-mails were not in the possession or control of the State Department so could not have been searched in response to a FOIA request.
Q Why were they not in the possession and control of the State Department?
A Secretary Clinton turned over her e-mails to the State Department in December of 2014.
Q Sure. Is it -- did the Office of Correspondence and Records between that time period of January 2009 and February 2013, was it their belief that Mrs. Clinton did not use e-mail for work-related purposes?
Q Did that include -- was that -- does that include Mr. Finney?
Q Going back to where I think we left off questions. Between the time period of January 21st, 2009, and February 12th, 2014, why was the Office of Correspondence and Records not aware that Mrs. Clinton did use e-mail to -- for work-related purposes?
A Can you be more specific?
Q Sure. The Office of Correspondence and Records was in -- was responsible for processing, storing, archiving Mrs. Clinton's records; wasn't it?
Q So they would know what record systems or what systems and how Mrs. Clinton communicated; wouldn't they?
A The Secretary did not use a State.gov e-mail account.
Q Did the Office of Correspondence and Records during that time period know that Mrs. Clinton did not use a State.gov e-mail account?
Q How did they know that?
A When Mrs. -- when former Secretary Clinton came to the State Department in early 2009, as part of her transition the question was raised would she have a State.gov e-mail account, and the transition team advised that she would not. Like her predecessor, she would not have an e-mail account.
Q So at some point during Mrs. Clinton's tenure, the Office of Correspondence and Records asked S/ES-IRM whether Mrs. Clinton was using a State.gov e-mail account?
Q When did that take -- when did that happen?
A Initially the Office of Correspondence and Records was informed by S/ES-IRM that Secretary Clinton would not have an e-mail account.
Q When did that initial -- when were they initially informed?
A Sometime in the time frame of the end of 2008 to early 2009.
Q Do you know who within the Office of Correspondence and Records was informed of that?
A Clarence Finney.
Domain Name: CLINTONEMAIL.COM
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 2
Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com
Referral URL: networksolutions.com...
Name Server: NS15.WORLDNIC.COM
Name Server: NS16.WORLDNIC.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited icann.org...
Status: clientTransferProhibited icann.org...
Status: clientUpdateProhibited icann.org...
Updated Date: 04-mar-2015
Creation Date: 13-jan-2009
Expiration Date: 13-jan-2017
Q Sure. When IRM informed Mr. Finney that Mrs. Clinton would not be using a State.gov e-mail account, did Mr. Finney at that point or a subsequent point ask IRM if Mrs. Clinton was going to be using another e-mail -- a non-State.gov e-mail account for work-related purposes?
Q He did not ask, or you don't know if he asked? Sorry, I was just unclear on your answer.
A No, he did not ask.
Q The S/ES-IRM.
Were there subsequent conversations related to Mrs. Clinton's -- whether or not Mrs. Clinton was using a State.gov e-mail account between S/ES-IRM and the Office of Correspondence and Records?
Q And when did those conversations or discussions take place?
A In -- when Mrs. Clinton's photo appeared in the media with her using -- appearing to use some sort of a mobile device, Clarence Finney checked with S/ES-IRM to confirm whether or not she still -- whether the answer was still that she did not have a State.gov e-mail account.
Q Sure. While Mr. Finney -- while the office of correspondence and management was responding to FOIA requests, did they know, did someone within that office know that Mrs. Clinton's practice to preserve government e-mails was to do so by -- by e-mailing State Department employees on their State.gov e-mail account?
Q Now that the State Department is aware that Mrs. Clinton has said that this was her practice, does the State Department believe that their searches in response to this FOIA request, either the initial search, during the initial time period, were sufficient?
Q What do you mean by that, if you could elaborate?
A The -- the supplemental searches were sufficient. They included a search of the former Secretary Clinton e-mail collection. The practice -- the way the State Department stores e-mail records is by custodian, by the employee who sent or received those e-mails. So in order to search, for example, for Secretary Clinton's e-mails, if they were stored in other custodians' electronic archives, it would not be possible to do that except by searching individual custodian by individual custodian, which would not be reasonably possible.
Q Why -- why would that not be reasonably possible?
A The department has 70,000 employees worldwide.
Q To the State Department's knowledge, since the State Department received the FOIA request at issue in this case, has any potential responsive e-mails of Mrs. Clinton or Ms. Abedin been destroyed or lost?
A It's not possible to answer that question because on the date that the -- that the initial FOIA request was received, there were e-mails from former Secretary Clinton and Ms. Abedin that were not in the possession of the State Department. The State Department is not in a position to say whether e-mails subsequent to that -- e-mails that existed on that date were subsequently lost.
Q Sure. When Judicial Watch filed its lawsuit and it was served on the department, did the department take any steps to ensure that any responsive e-mails of Mrs. Clinton or Ms. Abedin were not destroyed or lost?
A Again, as we stated earlier, at the time that the initial -- the case initially went into litigation, the department was not in possession or control of former Secretary Clinton's e-mail collection, so it could not have taken steps regarding those documents.
Q Okay. And if that determination was made that Ms. Abedin's e-mail records would be a potential source of potentially responsive records, where would that be tasked? The search -- the search itself, how would -- where would that be tasked?
A The general policy of the State Department is that current employees are asked to search their own e-mail records.
A The State Department's only basis for -- for judging whether or not they've returned all potentially responsive records would be their statements on that subject.
MS. WOLVERTON: I'm going to object to the line of questioning about this paragraph, based on the order entered on May 4th that specifically excludes from discovery information that concerns pending FBI or law-enforcement investigations, and on that basis instruct the witness not to answer questions about that paragraph.
Q Does the State Department know if Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin have turned over all records potentially responsive to the FOIA request at issue in this case?
A No. The department is relying on the representations of these former employees.