By Julian Hattem – 08/06/15 08:58 AM EDT
A federal judge is being asked to seize the USB flash drive that holds copies of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private emails.
Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman on Wednesday filed a motion to have a judge take control of the flash drive, which is being held by David Kendall, Clinton’s lawyer, as part of his ongoing racketeering lawsuit against the Democratic presidential frontrunner.“This court has a responsibility to preserve evidence and must do so to avoid its destruction,” Klayman wrote in the new motion. “Importantly, plaintiff has not requested to see the documents, hard and thumb drives at this time, but simply asked that this court take them into its custody for safekeeping.”
Klayman has claimed that Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act by deleting emails and covering up her communications to avoid responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. The missing emails would show how Clinton used waivers and sold her influence in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation, he has alleged.
In his Wednesday filing, Klayman noted that the FBI has recently taken an interest in the flash drive — a revelation earlier this week that built on the scrutiny of Clinton’s email practices. Transparency advocates and critics of Clinton have been livid at her use of a personal email address on a private server throughout her term in office.
The FBI investigation is “most remarkable,” Klayman wrote in his filing.
He added that he “would have no objection with the court’s in sharing this documentation and hard and thumb drives with any U.S. government authority that wished to make a copy of them to further the interests of justice and pursuant to the FBI’s criminal investigation of Defendant Hillary Clinton.”
During the daily State Department briefing on Thursday, spokesman Mark Toner reassured reporters that Clinton’s flash drive was safe in her lawyer’s hands.
Clinton has been ordered to preserve the contents on the drive by the House committee investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, he noted, as well as various government inspectors general.
“So what we did in response to that is provided them with instructions regarding how to properly store [and] physically secure these documents,” Toner said.
“We’ve sent our security people out there,” he added. “They’ve checked. They’ve confirmed that it is a secure site.”