Trump Email Saga

"You can't review 650,000 emails in eight days, folks, you can't do it*," Trump says.

As the email saga appears to have reached its final act, with the FBI saying Hillary Clinton faces no charges. Donal Trump responded with regard to the FBI reviewing 650,000 emails in 8 days “you can’t do it”.

At CCL we know it’s more than possible to review this number of emails in this time frame. We routinely have cases with more than this amount of data, so here’s how it can be done. We based it on 6 days using normal technology, as it needs a day for processing, plus one for quality control and reporting.

Linear Review

Although over half million email sounds a lot, it’s not really. We estimate a team of about 100 paralegals could read all emails in six days.

Traditional ED (electronic disclosure)

To have these reviewed by a more manageable size team, we estimate the data needs to be reduced to about 25% of its original size, here’s a few options of how we can do that:

  • De-duplication: It’s quite feasible that de-duplicating the data against itself and what has been previously reviewed could have a huge impact.
  • Searches: Although confidential is a terrible keyword as it appears in a lot of email signatures, we suggest the word ‘Secret’ is slightly more unique.
  • Communication Channels/Thread Analysis: As this material is only going to be circulated by a handful of people you could just focus on emails between certain people.

Finding the Email or Attachments: It sounds like the emails in question are known. You could either create extremely detailed keywords using text blocks, to find them almost instantly, reducing the number of false positives. Or use the file electronic figure print (MD5 hash value) to locate it.

New Technologies

  • The challenge of reviewing huge data volumes has been growing for more than 10 years. New technologies such as predictive coding and technology assisted reviews, allow machines to learn what a responsive document is, then instantly perform the review with better accuracy than that of a human.

CCL could have supplied the relevant information from the emails in this time, by all manner of investigative techniques and therefore it is feasible that this has been achieved by the FBI.

*as per Telegraph news 7/11/16

James Lawson
e-Disclosure Review and Productions Supervisor

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