AP sues State Department, seeking access to Clinton records
Hillary Clinton delivers the keynote address at the 18th annual David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University, in New York, April 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO/TREVOR COLLENS (Photo credit should read TREVOR COLLENS/AFP/Getty Images)
KEENE, NH - APRIL 20: Democratic presidential hopeful and former U.S. Sectetary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to employees of Whitney Brothers, an educational furniture manufacturer, at a round table discussionon April 20, 2015 in Keene, New Hampshire. This marks Clinton's first major political event in New Hampshire after announcing her campaign for president a little over a week ago. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NORWALK, IA - APRIL 15: Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on during a roundtable discussion with members of the small business community at Capital City Fruit on April 15, 2015 in Norwalk, Iowa. Hillary Clinton continues to campaign throughout Iowa as she makes her second bid for President of the United States. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE - APRIL 21: Secretary Hillary Clinton participates in a roundtable with administrators, teachers and students, at a Concord technical training community college in Concord, New Hampshire on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 16: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on stage during a ceremony to induct her into the Irish America Hall of Fame on March 16, 2015 in New York City. The Irish America Hall of Fame was founded in 2010 and recognizes exceptional figures in the Irish American community. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes part in a discussion on 'our nation's urban centers,' and 'challenges from housing and transportation to education and workforce accessibility.' at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a round table conversation and press conference announcing a childhood development initiative with first lady of New York City Chirlane McCray on April 1, 2015 in New York City. The initiative is between New York City Children's Cabinet and Too Small to Fail. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 16: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raises her glass during a toast at a ceremony to induct her into the Irish America Hall of Fame on March 16, 2015 in New York City. The Irish America Hall of Fame was founded in 2010 and recognizes exceptional figures in the Irish American community. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to a press conference after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations on March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as Secretary of State. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, speaks during a news conference at the United Nations (UN) in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Clinton defended the legality of her use of a private e-mail account and server while she served as secretary of state, saying that she had done so out of a desire for convenience but should have used a government account for work purposes. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Former Sec. of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's annual fundraising Steak Fry, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Indianola, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage with Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton for the official release of the No Ceilings Full Participation Report which coincides with the start of the 59th session of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women on March 9, 2015 in New York City. Global and community leaders participated in the program which looked to highlight the findings showing 20 years of global data compiled by No Ceilings reveals that there is more to done to achieve Ãfull and equal participationÃ of women and girls worldwide. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 04: Former United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage at the 2014 Massachusetts Conference for Women at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on December 4, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Massachusetts Conference for Women)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: Hillary Clinton attends the New-York Historical Society 2014 History Makers Gala at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on November 21, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Cookstoves Future Summit on November 21, 2014 in New York City. Clinton, who is the Leadership Council Chair for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, spoke to donors, activists and members of the media on the importance of clean cookstoves for families in parts of the developing world. Globally, 3 billion people rely on solid fuels to cook. This has resulted in polluted household air that kills over 4 million people every year and sickening millions more. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves looks to replace old stoves with more efficient and cleaner one's which would drastically reduce the negative health issues associated with older stoves. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 01: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton campaigns for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) during the 'Women with Mary Geaux Vote' event at the Sugar Mill on November 1, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Landrieu is faced off against two Republicans for the senate seat, Rep. Bill Cassidy and retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 15: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaches for U.S. Senate Democratic candidate and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) while campaigning for Grimes October 15, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. Grimes remains locked in a tight race with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with midterm elections less than three weeks away. Also pictured is Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (L). (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: Former U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton smiles while Incumbent New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a 'Women for Cuomo' campaign event on October 23, 2014 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, NY. Cuomo was joined by Clinton who, citing his record on women's rights, endorsed him in the upcoming gubernatorial election on November 4, 2014. U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, the Democratic nominee for New York Lt. Gov., also spoke at the event. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), on September 24, 2014 in New York City. The annual meeting, established in 2005 by President Clinton, convenes global leaders to discuss solutions to world problems. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the 8th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards at Sheraton Times Square on September 21, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 06: Former president of United States (US) Bill Clinton (R) and his wife, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), leave St. Ignatius Loyola Church after the funeral of former three-term governor Mario Cuomo on January 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Hillary Clinton, Michael Esper and Bill Clinton pose backstage at the hit musical 'The Last Ship' on Broadway at The Neil Simon Theater on December 20, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Event honoree Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage during the 2014 Robert F. Kennedy Ripple Of Hope Awards at the New York Hilton on December 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: (L-R) Tony Bennett, Donato Tramuto, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Kerry Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy, and Robert De Niro attend the RFK Ripple Of Hope Gala at Hilton Hotel Midtown on December 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for RFK Ripple Of Hope)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Honoree Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) accepts an award from Ethel Kennedy at the RFK Ripple Of Hope Gala at Hilton Hotel Midtown on December 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for RFK Ripple Of Hope)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, joins U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., left, and Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., during a get out the vote rally center, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014 in Nashua, NH (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, talks to voters with U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., right, and Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., at the Puritan Backroom Restaurant, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014 in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Former Sec. of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin work the grill during Harkin's annual fundraising Steak Fry, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Indianola, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Dick Furinash, of Liberty Center, Iowa, stands with cutouts of former Sec. of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton during U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's annual fundraising Steak Fry, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Indianola, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves as she walks with U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, left, former President Bill Clinton and Ruth Harkin, right, as they arrive at Harkin's annual fundraising Steak Fry, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Indianola, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to questions from Lissa Muscatine, proprietor of the Politics and Prose bookstore during a discussion on the empowerment of women and girls at the Ford Foundation, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in New York. The discussion was part of a two-day conference assessing the progress of women's empowerment since a similar conference took place in Beijing in 1995.(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, greets members of the audience after a discussion on the empowerment of women and girls at the Ford Foundation, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in New York. The discussion was part of a two-day conference assessing the progress of women's empowerment since a similar conference took place in Beijing in 1995.(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 16: Hillary Rodham Clinton signs copies of her book 'Hard Choices' at BookHampton on August 16, 2014 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to sign her book 'Hards Choices' at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore on Martha's Vineyard on August 13, 2014. Clinton on August 12 denied attacking US President Barack Obama over his foreign policy in Syria and Iraq, insisting she was looking forward to 'hugging it out' with the US leader when they meet at a party later this week. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves to the media after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 23: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a during a round table event to launch the 'Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing' campaign at the
Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute on July 23, 2014 in Oakland, California. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the 'Talking is Teaching; Talk Read Sing' campaign in partnership withToo Small to Fail and the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation that encourages parents and caregivers to close the word gap by talking, singing and reading to children every day from the birth. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton arrives with France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the Quai d'Orsay, in Paris, Monday, July 7, 2014. The former U.S. secretary of state was in Paris or the publication in France of her book âHard Choicesâ which recounts her four years running American diplomacy. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius offered a reception in her honor. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, left, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, listen as President Barack Obama makes a statement to the media before a meeting with his cabinet in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and US President barack Obama (R) are greeted by Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (C) at her residence in Yangon on November 19, 2012 . Obama arrived in Myanmar for a historic visit aimed at encouraging a string of dramatic political reforms in the former pariah state. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) looks on as US President Barack Obama (2nd L) speaks during a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (2nd R) on the sidelines of the East Asian Summit at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on November 20, 2012. During the two-day East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Obama was scheduled to hold talks with the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japan's Yoshihiko Noda. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton board Air Force One at the airport in Yangon on November 19, 2012. Huge crowds greeted Barack Obama in Myanmar on the first visit by a serving US president to the former pariah state to encourage a string of startling political reforms. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
In this image provided by the United Nations The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right, meets with Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State of the USA at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning Nov. 21, 2012. Clinton will try on Wednesday to wring an elusive truce deal from Israel and Gaza's militant Hamas rulers after earlier efforts to end more than a week of fighting broke down amid a furious spasm of violence. (AP Photo/United Nations, Evan Schneider)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States, speaks during the presentation of the German translation of her book 'Hard Choices' ('Entscheidungen' in German) at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater on July 6, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reacts to host Jon Stewart during a taping of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
In this July 15, 2014, photo, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reacts to host Jon Stewart during a taping of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," in New York. As Clinton promotes her book, liberals in the Democratic party are elbowing into the 2016 presidential conversation while pitching populist messages on the economy and immigration. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
US President Barack Obama(2nd-L), First Lady Michelle Obama(L) along with former president Bill Clinton(3rd-L) and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton(4th-L) take part in a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the late 35th president of the US John F. Kennedy at Kennedy's gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery on November 20, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures while speaking to host Jon Stewart during a taping of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the media after he "doused eleven flames" as he tours the Shwedagon Pagoda with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. This is the first visit to Myanmar by a sitting U.S. president. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 20: Hillary Rodham Clinton appears on stage during 'A Conversation With Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton' at the Long Center on June 20, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State HiIlary Rodham Clinton speaks with people while signing copies of her new book "Hard Choices," at Harvard Book Store, Monday, June 16, 2014, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for a photo with her new book "Hard Choices," her recounting of her time as President Barack Obamaâs top diplomat, at a book signing event at Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles Thursday, June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Hillary Clinton participates in a conversation about her career in government and her new book, "Hard Choices.," at the Council on Foreign Relations, in New York, Thursday, June 12, 2014. Clinton says what is happening in Iraq is âa dreadful, deteriorating situation.â The former secretary of state and potential 2016 presidential contender weighed in Thursday on the al-Qaida-inspired group that led this week's capture of key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton answers a question from the crowd during an appearance to promote her new book, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Stacy Thacker)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States (R), speaks next to Christoph Amend, editor in chief of Zeit Magazin, during the presentation of the German translation of her book 'Hard Choices' ('Entscheidungen' in German) at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater on July 6, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits to speak at the World Bank May 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim joined others to speak about women's rights. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Associated Press on Wednesday sued the State Department to force the release of email correspondence and government documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.
The legal action follows repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act that have gone unfulfilled. They include one request the AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013.
The suit in U.S. District Court comes a day after Clinton broke her silence about her use of a private email account while she was America's top diplomat.
The FOIA requests and the suit seek materials related to her public and private calendars; correspondence involving aides likely to play important roles in her expected campaign for president; and Clinton-related emails about the Osama bin Laden raid and National Security Agency surveillance practices.
"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," said Karen Kaiser, AP's general counsel.
Said AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll: "The Freedom of Information Act exists to give citizens a clear view of what government officials are doing on their behalf. When that view is denied, the next resort is the courts."
State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach declined to comment.
He had previously cited the department's heavy annual load of FOIA requests - 19,000 last year - in saying that the department "does its best to meet its FOIA responsibilities." He said the department takes requests "first in, first out," but noted that timing depends on "the complexity of the request."
Carroll said the AP was filing additional requests Wednesday using FOIA and other tools following the disclosure last week that Clinton had used a private email account run on a server on her property outside New York while working at the State Department.
Clinton on Tuesday said she sent and received about 60,000 emails from her personal email address in her four years as President Barack Obama's secretary of state. She said roughly half were work-related, which she turned over to the State Department, while deleting tens of thousands more that were personal in nature.
The department has said the emails in their possession will be posted online once a review of their contents is completed - a process that will take several months.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday that means "it is not necessary for new FOIA requests to be filed or old FOIA requests to be reconsidered in order to get access to those records."
The AP had sought Clinton-related correspondence before her use of a personal email account was publicly known, although Wednesday's court filing alleges that the State Department is responsible for including emails from that account in any public records request.
"State's failure to ensure that Secretary Clinton's governmental emails were retained and preserved by the agency, and its failure timely to seek out and search those emails in response to AP's requests, indicate at the very least that State has not engaged in the diligent, good-faith search that FOIA requires," says AP's legal filing.
Specifically, AP is seeking copies of Clinton's full schedules and calendars from her four years as secretary of state; documents related to her department's decision to grant a special position to longtime aide Huma Abedin; related correspondence from advisers Philippe Reines and Cheryl Mills, who, like Abedin, are likely to play central roles in a Clinton presidential campaign; documents related to Clinton's and the agency's roles in the bin Laden raid and NSA surveillance practices; and documents related to her role overseeing a major Defense Department contractor.
The AP made most of its requests in the summer of 2013, although one was filed in March 2010. AP is also seeking attorney's fees related to the suit.
Other organizations have sued the State Department recently after lengthy delays responding to public record requests.
In December, the conservative political advocacy group Citizens United sued the State Department for failing to disclose flight records showing who accompanied Clinton on overseas trips. Last week, the National Security Archive, an organization that gathers declassified government records, filed a lawsuit after waiting more than seven years for the State Department to release of details of former secretary of state Henry Kissinger's telephone conversations.
Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, predicted the State Department would speed up its review facing legal action, particularly given that Clinton has said that her email correspondence doesn't include classified material.
"When the government is under a court deadline, or really wants to review, they can whip through thousands of pages in a matter of weeks, which they should do here," Blanton said.
The State Department generally takes about 450 days to turn over records it considers to be part of complex requests under the FOIA. That is seven times longer than the Justice Department and CIA, and 30 times longer than the Treasury Department.
An inspector general's report in 2012 criticized the State Department's practices as "inefficient and ineffective," citing a heavy workload, small staff and interagency problems.