Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told a federal judge that she has turned over all of her work-related emails to the State Department after a judge requested she do so, a state department spokesman confirmed to CNN on Sunday.
Clinton signed a declaration obtained by CNN, which said “While I do not know what information may be ‘responsive’ fr purposes of this law suit, I have directed that all my e-mails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.”
This follows U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordering the State Department to have Clinton as well as two former top department aides to state under penalty of perjury they have produced all government records in their possession.
While the State Department initially said Friday Clinton had not issued her certification, department spokesman Alec Gerlach said when her attorneys sent the document it initially went to officials on leave.
This is all part of a freedom of information lawsuit filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch which is seeking records about the employment of Abedin.
Lawyers for the two top aides last week told the court they are working on turning over documents.
The attorney for Cheryl Mills, the former chief of staff for the State Department, told the court “the review process is nearing completion” and that she expected to produce additional documents on Monday. Attorney Beth Wilkinson said her client turned over provided some records in June to the department for review and that additional ones were later provided.
After pointing out that the department’s March request for documents to Huma Abedin, the former State Department deputy chief of staff and close aide to Clinton, failed to get delivered three times, her attorney Karen Dunn said in her letter to the judge some documents were turned over in July and told CNN another set was delivered Friday.
“We have been working expeditiously to gather the remaining materials in Ms. Abedin’s possession that are responsive or potentially responsive,” Dunn and fellow attorney Miguel Rodriguez wrote.
But neither Abedin nor Mills have yet to submit the formal certification.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for Mills did tell the court she did not believe she had any paper copies of “potential federal records in her possession” and that following Monday’s handover “we have instructed her to delete any and all electronic copies in her possession.” Wilkinson said her firm will maintain an electronic version of the document production until it receives further instructions from the State Department.
After Judicial Watch informed the court of this development, Sullivan issued a ruling directing the government “to request that Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Ms. Huma Abedin, and Ms. Cheryl Mills i) not delete any federal documents, electronic or otherwise, in their possession or control, and ii) provide appropriate assurances to the Government that the above-named individuals will not delete any such documents.” The court also asked for a status report by this coming Wednesday as well as assurances from all three that they will not delete any federal documents they have.
“We are abiding by the Court’s order,” Wilkinson, Mills’ attorney, told CNN on Sunday.
In a release on Monday, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “The destruction of federal documents in the face of a court order is par for the course for a Clinton-related scandal”.
He said that the State Department, Clinton, Mills and Abedin “should heed the court’s orders to preserve government records or face severe legal consequences. “
Separately, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he is going to put a hold on more than 29 State Department nominees until he gets answers from officials there about Abedin’s work status while she was at State.
Abedin was allowed to do some private sector work while continuing to work for State, including for the Clinton Foundation and for Teneo the firm of Clinton friend Doug Band. Grassley charges the arrangement presented a potential conflict of interest.
Grassley is also demanding information related to Abedin’s pay, saying she was overpaid for vacation time while employed at State. Abedin is challenging the allegations of any wrongdoing on both of those fronts.
All this happens after a congressional committee found 15 cases where emails were discovered to be absent from a collection Clinton handed over to State. The missing emails were discovered in the a batch of emails Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal turned over, even though State had declared all emails on Benghazi had been submitted to the committee, raising questions as to whether Clinton did purge some relevant emails.
CNN’s Ariane de Vogue contributed to this report.