Judge Agrees to FBI Request to Delay Production of Seth Rich Records

Judge Agrees to FBI Request to Delay Production of Seth Rich Records
The J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington on July 21, 2022. (Chung I Ho/The Epoch Times)
Zachary Stieber

A U.S. judge has agreed to allow the FBI to delay the production of records on late Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant, an Obama appointee, granted on Oct. 18 the government's request, which U.S. attorneys said was unopposed.

Mazzant had ordered the FBI in September to produce information from Rich's laptop computer to Texas resident Brian Huddleston, who sued the bureau after he said it failed to respond properly to Freedom of Information Act requests.
The FBI previously claimed that it didn't have records regarding Rich, but acknowledged during the case that it had taken possession of Rich's laptop.

FBI officials argued that Rich's family has a privacy interest that outweighs the public interest in the information from Rich's computer, but Mazzant rejected the arguments, noting that the FBI cited no case law.

He ordered the FBI to produce the information within 14 days.

But the FBI, through Department of Justice lawyers, asked for a two-week stay, stating that it was preparing a motion for reconsideration/clarification "because the FBI is uncertain how to comply with the Court’s order as written, and the FBI is seeking input from a pending appellate consultation regarding the order to properly address this issue."

The stay will allow the FBI sufficient time to complete its legal consultations and prepare and file the motion, according to Brit Featherston, a U.S. attorney who filed the motion.

"This motion for stay is not made for purposes of delay, but so that justice may be served," Featherston said.

Ty Clevenger, the attorney representing Huddleston, didn't oppose the motion, according to the government.

"We don't have a problem with the two-week stay. It shows the judge that we are acting in good faith and trying to be reasonable. Of course, our patience won't last forever," Clevenger told The Epoch Times in an email.

Mazzant granted the motion.

"Before the Court is Defendant FBI’s Unopposed Motion To Stay Court’s Production Order. The Court, having considered the Motion, finds the motion should be granted," he wrote.

The production order was stayed until Oct. 28.

If the FBI wants a further delay, the government must file a fresh motion.

Rich was killed in 2016 in Washington. Authorities have alleged that the killing was a robbery gone wrong. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has suggested that Rich provided WikiLeaks with information. Special counsel Robert Mueller said that suggestion was "apparently designed to obscure the source of the materials that WikiLeaks was releasing," including emails to and from Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta.

The actual source was Russian hackers, according to Mueller's report, although the report conflicts with statements from CrowdStrike, the firm hired to investigate the leak or hack of the emails.
Related Topics