Federal Judge Orders Hillary Clinton Grilling Over Emails: ‘Still More to Learn’
Judge grants request from watchdog group Judicial Watch
A federal judge has granted a request from watchdog group Judicial Watch to have Hillary Clinton sit for a sworn deposition to answer questions regarding her private email server use while conducting government business.
Clinton, in the past, argued she has answered all the questions about her private emails and should not have to do it again.
Though the high-profile investigation did not result in any charges, D.C. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth said her past responses left much to be desired.
"As extensive as the existing record is, it does not sufficiently explain Secretary Clinton’s state of mind when she decided it would be an acceptable practice to set up and use a private server to conduct State Department business," Lamberth said.
The judge stated that although Clinton responded to written questions in a separate case, "those responses were either incomplete, unhelpful, or cursory at best. Simply put, her responses left many more questions than answers.”
Lambeth added that the use of written questions this time “will only muddle any understanding of Secretary Clinton’s state of mind and fail to capture the full picture, thus delaying the final disposition of this case even further.”
Lambeth also gave some examples of lingering questions about Clinton's emails.
1. How did Clinton come to believe that her private emails would be preserved under normal State Department processes?
2. Who told her this and when?
3. At what point did Clinton learn department records management officials did not know about the server, "and why did she think that using a private server to conduct State Department business was permissible under the law in the first place?"
In December 2019, Judicial Watch revealed that the FBI released "approximately thirty previously undisclosed Clinton emails," and that the State Department "failed to fully explain" where they came from.
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Though the State Department has been pushing for the discovery phase of the case to come to a close, Lamberth said: "there is still more to learn."
Judicial Watch is looking for information regarding whether Clinton used her private email server to bypass the Freedom of Information Act, whether the state department settlement of the case years ago was in bad faith, and whether the department correctly looked into records after
Judicial Watch's initial FOIA request.
As the settlement attempts search of records took place after Clinton left office, the judge ruled the deposition should focus on whether she intentionally tried to use her private server to skirt around FOIA.
Judicial Watch's request to depose former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills, IT specialist Paul Combetta who was involved in deleting Clinton's emails, along with Yvette Jacks and Brett Gittleson, was also granted by Lamberth.
Additionally, Judicial Watch wanted to question Clinton and Mills regarding the aftermath of the 2012 Benghazi attack.
Lamberth said, though they "cannot be questioned about the underlying actions taken after the Benghazi attack," they can be questioned about "their knowledge of the existence of any emails, documents, or text messages related to the Benghazi attack."