Maryland bar prosecutors are allegedly flouting rules governing the process by which citizens file complaints against the state’s attorneys in an effort to protect Hillary Clinton’s former legal team, according to the attorney who filed the complaint.
Attorney Ty Clevenger claims that bar prosecutors have refused to respond to repeated requests for Clinton’s attorneys’ written responses to his complaint, which he says he is entitled to under the rules of the grievance process.
“The normal practice in most jurisdictions, including Maryland, is for the bar prosecutors to tell the responding attorney that you need to respond to this grievance and when you do you need to send a copy to the person who filed the grievance,” Clevenger told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Clevenger filed a motion with a Maryland judge Monday to force the bar prosecutors to turn over the written responses after the prosecutors ignored his repeated requests for access to their responses.
Clevenger filed the complaints against David Kendall, Cheryl Mills, and Heather Samuelson for their alleged roles in destroying some 30,000 Clinton email exchanges, some of which contained classified information, according to the FBI.
The bar counsel for the attorney grievance commission, Lydia Lawless, did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
The Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland denied Clevenger’s initial request, arguing that because he had no direct knowledge of the attorneys’ alleged misbehavior, they were not compelled to investigate the charges of destruction of evidence. Following this denial, Clevenger appealed the decision and in September, Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul Harris ordered the grievance commission and its office of bar counsel to investigate.
Clevenger’s law blog, Lawflog, notes that should Clinton attorneys be compelled to turn over written responses to his complaint, they may end up incriminating themselves or potentially invoke the Fifth Amendment, which could ultimately be used to disbar them.
In addition to ignoring his request to view the Clinton attorneys’ responses, the bar counsel quietly changed a rule in the grievance process following his request, which would have allowed the counsel to deny his request had the process been effect when he filed his complaint.
“When they originally denied my misconduct complaint one of the reasons they offered was because I had no personal knowledge and I had gotten the information from public sources,” Clevenger told TheDCNF. “I immediately shot back and said that’s not in the rules. The rules say anyone can file a complaint and it doesn’t have to be limited to someone with personal knowledge. Well they quietly changed that rule to say that now the bar counsel can dismiss a grievance from someone without personal knowledge.”
This rule change is significant, according to Clevenger, since the vast majority of grievance requests come from members of the public who do not have personal knowledge of an attorney’s misbehavior.
Clevenger has also filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI for documents related to their investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server. The FBI initially denied his request, citing a “lack of public interest,” but later reversed course and agreed to release the documents on its website as it discovers them. However, Clevenger told TheDCNF he is concerned the Bureau will only release certain documents and hold onto others, which may prove more incriminating.