The Associated Press has sued the State Department as it seeks access to email correspondence by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State.
The legal action comes after repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have gone unfulfilled. They include one request AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013.The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, comes a day after Clinton broke her silence about her use of a private email account while secretary of state. The FOIA requests and lawsuit seek materials related to her public and private calendars, correspondence involving longtime aides likely to play key roles in her expected campaign for president, and Clinton-related emails about the Osama bin Laden raid and National Security Agency surveillance practices.
The move comes one day after Clinton addressed the email controversy for the first time publicly, saying that she "fully complied with every rule I was governed by" even as she used a private email account to conduct official business.
The AP's General Counsel, Karen Kaiser, said in a statement:
"After careful deliberation and exhausting our other options, The Associated Press is taking the necessary legal steps to gain access to these important documents, which will shed light on actions by the State Department and former Secretary Clinton, a presumptive 2016 presidential candidate, during some of the most significant issues of our time. The press is a proxy for the people, and AP will continue its pursuit of vital information that's in the public interest through this action and future open records requests."
Citing their standing policy related to ongoing litigation, the State Department has declined to comment.