09/11/2015 07:00 pm ET

Hillary Clinton Was Totally Free To Delete Personal Emails, DOJ Claims

Nothing to see here, says the government.

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have had the authority to delete personal emails even if she had used a government email address, instead of her own private server, government lawyers argued this week.

Justice Department lawyers said in a court filing, first reported by Buzzfeed and The Washington Times, that there was "no question" Clinton had the authority to erase messages she thought were personal. The filing came as part of an ongoing legal battle over the government's failure to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests for Clinton's emails.

State Department employees, according to the Justice Department, "may delete messages they deem in their own discretion to be personal." The government said that Judicial Watch, the organization that filed the FOIA lawsuit, had provided "no evidence" that Clinton withheld any legitimate federal records.