Earlier this month, per Politico, a federal judge ordered former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to sit for a sworn deposition for the first time in connection with her use of a private email account during her State Department tenure.
U.S. District Court Royce Lamberth issued the order in connection with a five-and-a-half-year-old Freedom of Information Act lawsuit the conservative group Judicial Watch filed seeking emails related to the deadly 2012 attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
WashingtonExaminer reports Hillary Clinton asked an appeals court on Friday to overturn a judge’s order for her to appear for a sworn deposition about her use of a private email server and the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.
The case stems from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch against the former secretary of state. Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ruled, “The Court agrees with Judicial Watch — it is time to hear directly from Secretary Clinton.” The judicial opinion also ordered former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills to be deposed.
Clinton’s legal team responded with an 83-page petition for a writ of mandamus filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, calling the district ruling outrageous and asking the appeals court to order the lower court to correct the ruling.
The legal team for Clinton said reversing the order “is warranted because Judicial Watch’s impending depositions of Secretary Clinton and Ms. Mills are inappropriate, unnecessary, and a clear abuse of discretion.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “This desperate act is yet another attempt by the Clinton machine to delay truth and accountability for her email conduct and how it impacted the people’s ‘right to know’ under FOIA.”
Clinton’s lead attorney David Kendall said, “The district court’s order inappropriately discounts this Court’s prior finding that there are no remaining recoverable emails, the extraordinary discovery that Judicial Watch has already obtained, and the vast public record on Secretary Clinton’s emails.” He claimed, “Judicial Watch could not possibly show the extraordinary circumstances required to depose (or re-depose) former high-ranking officials regarding their reasons for taking official actions, and the court abused its discretion in finding otherwise.”
The Clinton team laid out three main arguments for why the lower court’s order should be reversed. First, they referenced a prior D.C. appeals court ruling in a Judicial Watch v. Pompeo case in 2018 that they said should render this FOIA case “moot.” Next, they claimed the district court’s order “violates the well-established principle that high-ranking government officials should not be subjected to depositions absent extraordinary circumstances.” And they claimed the lower court “lacked jurisdiction to order additional discovery because the FOIA requests were submitted only after Secretary Clinton left office.”
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