- Google Refuses to Turn Over Emails
- August 25, 2015
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
- Earlier this month, three aides to Senator and presidential hopeful Rand Paul (R-KY) were indicted in a supposed pay-for-endorsement scheme revolving around Rand's father, Ron Paul, and his race for the GOP nomination in 2012.
Jesse Benton, one of the aides at the center of the scandal, has refused to turn over emails to the FBI. Over a year ago, after refusing to turn them over, the FBI got a search warrant that allowed them access to Benton's emails without his cooperation. Unfortunately for the FBI, Benton has a Gmail account and Google's policy is to notify users when their account has become the subject of a search warrant. Once notified, Benton filed a motion to block the search warrant and Google immediately stopped cooperating with the FBI.
Last week, a judge ruled that the FBI had a right to the emails, but Benton again refused to turn the emails over and Google, again, sided with Benton.
The government is now seeking to hold Google in contempt if they fail to comply with the order and turn over the emails.
The battle between Google, Benton, and the government is at the center of a legal debate about just how specific or broad email search warrants should be. Benton says he has turned over more than 50,000 pages of emails, but that his Gmail account contained both professional and private emails. The government claims they are entitled to all of the emails. So far, Google has sided with Benton, saying they will not comply with search warrants that are "overly broad."