An irritated federal judge Thursday put the Hillary Clinton email scandal into stark terms, grilling the State Department on a pattern of delayed document releases that has turned a possible bureaucratic logjam into a major problem for the leading Democratic presidential contender.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, known for his blunt manner, said he simply did not understand why the State Department has dragged its feet on responses for emails in requests to the Freedom of Information Act.
“Now, any person should be able to review that in one day — one day,” the judge said, examining a request for just over 60 emails. “Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”
Leon articulated what has been a major concern of State Department critics who contend that the agency is dragging out responses to FOIA requests to protect Clinton, who served as secretary of state during Obama’s first term. The judge’s complaints echoed those of Hill Republicans, who have accused the agency of slow-walking document requests in its Benghazi investigation to protect Clinton.