Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will have to answer questions under oath in her growing email scandal while secretary of state.
A federal judge ordered Hillary Clinton to answer questions submitted as part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, but the answers will come in writing. The conservative watchdog group wanted to depose Clinton in person, but the judge ruled written answers would be just fine. That means Judicial Watch won’t have the opportunity ask follow-up questions.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement following Friday’s order that his group will “move quickly to get these answers.
“The decision is a reminder that Hillary Clinton is not above the law,” Fitton said in the statement.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan also ordered that John Bentel, a retired State Department employee who managed IT security, be deposed.
In his order, Sullivan wrote:
The Court is persuaded that Secretary Clinton’s testimony is necessary to enable her to explain on the record the purpose for the creation and operation of the clintonemail.com system for State Department business.
Judicial Watch submitted a request July 8 to depose Clinton and Bentel as part of its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records about the “controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton,” Judicial Watch said.
While admitting Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling sensitive State Department material, FBI Director James Comey said last month she would not face criminal charges.
Chris Farrell, director of investigations at Judicial Watch, told Fox News that even though the question and answers will be written, “Judicial Watch will get Clinton under oath regarding the set-up of her outlaw server – something no other person, organization or agency has been able to do, to date.”
“We believe it is a victory for law and order to get Hillary Clinton under oath answering questions about the server setup and why she did it,” Farrell told Fox News.
Clinton’s campaign, while side-stepping the issue of wrongdoing, could only take a swipe at Judicial Watch, Fox News reported.
“Judicial Watch is a right-wing organization that has been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s,” Fallon said. “This is just another lawsuit intended to try to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and so we are glad that the judge has accepted our offer to answer these questions in writing rather than grant Judicial Watch’s request.”
Sullivan’s order says Judicial Watch must submit its queries to Clinton by Oct. 14, and she must respond within 30 days. Unless Judicial Watch submits the questions earlier, Clinton’s answers would come after the November election.
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