A judge in Maryland has ordered state officials to investigate a complaint against three of Hillary Clinton’s lawyers accused of deleting emails the court ordered them to keep.
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. ruled that state officials must investigate David Kendall, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson. All three are licensed to practice law in Maryland and could be disbarred if found guilty of misconduct.
The complaint was filed by Ty Clevenger, a lawyer in Texas. He alleged that the three notorious Clinton lawyers deleted thousands of emails related to the homebrew email server Clinton used during her time as Secretary of State. The lawsuit claims they committed misconduct by destroying evidence.
Clevenger is writing a book on political corruption, the Baltimore Sun reports, and said the Clinton email scandal is a “case study” of politically affiliated attorneys receiving preferential treatment. His complaint seeks to have them disbarred in the state. He also filed a similar complaint in Washington D.C., but was unsuccessful.
Clevenger said his decision isn’t politically motivated and that he has filed corruption allegations against both political parties.
Clevenger received media attention for his work in Texas, assisting in the indictment on fraud against of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican in office since 2015.
“My thesis is: If you are a politically prominent attorney, you are held to a different standard,” Clevenger said after the hearing. “I’ve seen this in Texas, California … I choose this case because I knew people would pay attention.”
When The Baltimore Sun contacted Kendall, Mills and Samuelson, they would not comment.
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Assistant Attorney General Alexis Rhode represented the grievance commission and the Office of Bar Counsel in Monday’s hearing. The counsel investigates and prosecutes complaints of misconduct against attorneys, while the commission oversees the conduct of Maryland attorneys and nonmembers of the Maryland bar who practice law in the state.
The commission is based in Annapolis, which puts any appeal of their decision before the Anne Arundel court.
The bar counsel decided not to investigate this case and has that discretion when they deem cases to be frivolous, Rhode told the judge.
Amazingly, when Judge Harris asked her to explain exactly how the case was “frivolous,” Rhode said she couldn’t say without releasing “confidential information.”
Clevenger said this was the first time this complaint was labeled “frivolous.” They apparently decided that since Clevenger has “no personal knowledge of the allegations presented in your correspondence, nor are you a personally aggrieved client or party possession material information that would assist this office in reviewing such allegations,” then it was “frivolous.”
Clinton has repeatedly insisted that she didn’t knowingly send or receive classified information on her private server.
During the investigation, Clinton pointed to the use of personal email by Secretary of State Colin Powell as a precedent. But the comparison wasn’t exact — Clinton maintained a private server in her home, Powell did not, according to media reports.
The FBI later ruled that she in fact did do exactly that, but she might not have actually been aware of it.
Former FBI Director released a statement that Clinton was “careless” but her misdeeds didn’t rise to the level of criminality.