Late last month, a law professor at American University remarked upon the legality of whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton illegally removed official e-mails since holding that office. “It depends upon what the meaning of remove is,” Daniel Metcalfe, an adjunct professor of law at American University said on March 31, 2015.
Actually, Metcalfe was at least half serious in his comments at a forum sponsored by Judicial Watch. There is a question of the extent to which the original U. S. Freedom of Information Act applies to electronic communications.
Nevertheless, Metcalfe, who handled FOIA requests at the U. S. Department of Justice before joining the AU faculty in 2007, is careful not to give the former first lady a complete pass. “Just because you are not prohibited from ever using a personal account doesn’t mean you can always use a personal account,” Metcalfe said at the JW forum, which was held at the group’s offices and taped for C-SPAN. “There’s a lot of daylight between the two,” he noted.
Metcalfe admitted that he is a registered Democrat and self-professed liberal. “I don’t use the term progressive,” he says. “I didn’t get the memo on that,” he noted wryly.
Nonetheless, he has been asked to assist reporters seeking the e-mails. JW president Tom Fitton, whose organization has gone to court to obtain the e-mails, even took his class.