A federal judge on Thursday ordered the State Department to keep in close touch with the FBI about what investigators find on Hillary Clinton's email server.
And the judge indicated he thought her decision to conduct official business on a private email account was unwise.
"We wouldn't be here today if the employee had followed government policy," said District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, referring to the former secretary of state.
"There was a violation of government policy," he said.
The Thursday order involves a side issue in the email controversy — a Freedom of Information Act inquiry about an employment arrangement that allowed top Clinton aide Huma Abedin to do outside consulting while working at the State Department.
Sullivan directed the State Department to ask for a response from the FBI about whether investigators find anything on the Clinton email server or on the thumb drives related to Abedin's work arrangement.
The State Department said earlier that a search of the 55,000 pages of emails turned over by Mrs. Clinton's lawyer contained nothing about the Abedin contract. Now the judge says the State Department must ask the FBI for any emails its investigators find on the servers related to the contract that wasn't in the emails.
Sullivan wants a progress report in 30 days and has scheduled a status hearing for Oct. 1 at 10 am.
It's not clear whether the FBI will be able to find anything on the servers, given that they were "wiped" to erase the contents, though FBI officials have said they are optimistic they can recover at least some data.