In a ruling that said Hillary Clinton’s past responses about her use of a private email server left much to be desired, U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth granted a request that the former secretary of state sit for a sworn deposition.
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch had requested that Clinton answer questions about her use of a private server to conduct government business, Fox News reported.
“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 court also ordered the deposition of Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and two other State Department officials.
The judge rejected Clinton’s argument that she has already answered questions about this.
“The Court has considered the numerous times in which Secretary Clinton said she could not recall or remember certain details in her prior interrogatory answers. In a deposition, it is more likely that plaintiff’s counsel could use documents and other testimony to attempt to refresh her recollection,” Lamberth said. “And so, to avoid the unsatisfying and inefficient outcome of multiple rounds of fruitless interrogatories and move this almost six-year-old case closer to its conclusion, Judicial Watch will be permitted to clarify and further explore Secretary Clinton’s answers in person and immediately after she gives them. The Court agrees with Judicial Watch – it is time to hear directly from Secretary Clinton.”
Lamberth, appointed by appointee of President Ronald Reagan, cited a “slow trickle” of Clinton emails from the State Department to question the government’s actions to recover Clinton’s messages, according to Politico.
“Even years after the FBI investigation, the slow trickle of new emails has yet to be explained,” he wrote.
Lamberth added that it would be “preposterous” to argue the Court now has enough information to determine whether State conducted an adequate search.
If the deposition actually takes place — Clinton’s high priced lawyers will have their say — it would be the first time she has had to submit to live questioning under oath on the subject, Politico noted.
When Clinton was interviewed by the FBI for three and a half hours in July 2016, in an investigation headed up by disgraced former agent Peter Strzok, she was not put under oath and the agents did not record the interview.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement that the organization was “pleased” with the ruling.
“Judicial Watch uncovered the Clinton email scandal and we’re pleased that the court authorized us to depose Mrs. Clinton directly on her email conduct and how it impacted the people’s ‘right to know’ under FOIA,” Fitton said.
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