Washington (CNN) reports that Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can be deposed for a lawsuit about the State Department’s recordkeeping of her emails, a federal judge said Monday.
Hillary Clinton on the legal hotseat once again.
Judge Royce Lamberth’s order authorizing right-leaning group Judicial Watch to question Clinton and others effectively breathes new life into the years-long pursuit of Clinton’s emails about State Department business on a private server. In addition to Clinton, the group also could depose two State Department technology managers who worked on Clinton’s email management, as well as Mills. Judicial Watch, however, cannot ask Clinton or Mills about the US government’s response to the 2012 Benghazi attack, Lamberth said. Judicial Watch can also subpoena Google for records related to Clinton’s email while she was secretary of state, according to the judge’s order.
“The Court is not confident that State currently possesses every Clinton email recovered by the FBI; even years after the FBI investigation, the slow trickle of new emails has yet to be explained,” Lamberth wrote. “For this reason, the Court believes the subpoena [to Google] would be worthwhile and may even uncover additional previously undisclosed emails.” Clinton’s emails were already investigated by Congress, the State Department inspector general and the FBI, and she previously gave written answers in another lawsuit.
Judge Lamberth raised the possibility that the State Department acted in bad faith when it told Judicial Watch no records existed previously, before producing late last year 30 Clinton emails that were previously undisclosed. The questions believed to be answered at this point include: “How did she arrive at her belief that her private server emails would be preserved by normal State Department processes for email retention?” “Did she realize State was giving ‘no records’ responses to FOIA requests for her emails? If so, did she suspect that she had any obligation to disclose the existence of her private server to those at State handling the FOIA requests? When did she first learn that State’s records management employees were unaware of the existence of her private 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?”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton was pleased with the outcome to depose Mrs. Clinton on her email conduct and how it impacted the peoples “right to know” under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Freedom of Information Act.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions. “Any further discovery should focus on whether she used a private server to evade the Freedom of Information Act and, as a corollary to that, what she understood about State’s records management obligations,” Lamberth wrote in his order.
Legal arguments will be based on the language of the Freedom of Information Act and any actions Former Secretary of State Clinton took to deviate from that language in the privacy and preservation of emails that may have information related to United States Government Affairs.