Posted: 2:15 am ET
Below is the State Department’s court filing via Politico:
On April 6, this obviously made it to the Daily Press Briefing:
QUESTION: — knowing that you’ll probably refer me to the Department of Justice. But – so yesterday or late yesterday there was a filing in the FOIA – the email FOIA – one of them, on the discovery – the order to grant discovery.
MR TONER: Right.
QUESTION: And I’m just curious about this, because I haven’t actually seen the order, I’ve just read the stories about it. What does the department, through its lawyers, claim to be its standing for trying to limit the scope of questions asked of ex-employees?
MR TONER: So —
QUESTION: I mean, I can understand why you would be making a motion on behalf of current employees. And I could probably even understand why you say that this – they are being asked about their activities while they were in government. But this seems to be something – I mean, shouldn’t their own lawyers be making this kind of a motion? Why is the State Department making it?
MR TONER: So I appreciate the question and understand your interest in the story. You are correct insofar as – well, first of all, we did submit a filing with the court last night on this matter. But I cannot comment on the actual content of that court filing, because this is something that’s already – or that is a matter of ongoing litigation, so I can’t even comment on your question because it would speak to this matter that’s still in litigation.
QUESTION: Can you tell me if it says in there – I mean, maybe I’m just completely naive and ignorant —
MR TONER: I don’t have it in front —
QUESTION: — about this.
MR TONER: Yeah.
QUESTION: But does it explain in this motion how it is that the department has standing to make such a request on behalf of a former employee?
MR TONER: Again, I can’t speak specifically to this matter, but I can say that the department’s engaged on any given year in litigation before federal courts, administrative and arbitral tribunals. And depending on the facts —
MR TONER: — applicable procedures, and nature of the claims, we do – there may be discovery, but it is case by case.
QUESTION: No, I understand that.
MR TONER: And so – yeah.
QUESTION: I mean, the answer to my question could be very, very simple, that it’s – that it – it could be that it’s completely normal —
MR TONER: You’re asking whether it applies to ex-employees?
QUESTION: Well – no, it does. I know that the motion does cover them. I’m just curious as to what the —
MR TONER: What the rationale is?
QUESTION: Right. I mean, it may be very straightforward, that because they’re being asked to talk about stuff they did while they were in government that you do have some kind of standing to speak on their behalf.
MR TONER: And I will see if I can get you any —
QUESTION: And I’m just wondering if —
MR TONER: — more clarity on that.
QUESTION: Right. Thanks.
MR TONER: But I have to just preface that by saying —
MR TONER: — I am restricted in what I can say when something – it’s an ongoing litigation.