A Ronald Reagan appointed federal judge has ordered 2016 Presidential loser Hillary Clinton to sit in for a sworn deposition over her email scandal.
Politico reports a federal judge has 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 Monday 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.
Clinton was previously required to submit a sworn written statement about her email use, but the deposition—if it takes place—would be the first time she has had to submit to live questioning under oath on the subject.
During her four years in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, Clinton relied on a private email account and server for both her work-related and personal messages. The practice led to a storm of controversy that roiled her 2016 presidential bid and is widely viewed as contributing to her ultimate defeat by Donald Trump.
In response to press questions during the campaign and in the sworn statement, Clinton said she kept the private account and server after taking over as secretary of state in 2009 as a matter of convenience and not to avoid FOIA or other disclosure requirements. The FBI investigated, interviewed Clinton and recommended against criminal charges, but it did find dozens of messages in her account that officials said contained highly classified information.
However, Lamberth said in his ruling Monday that the FBI probe and representations by the State Department have not adequately put to rest questions about the episode and Clinton’s deposition is needed to address those concerns.
“To argue that the Court now has enough information to determine whether State conducted an adequate search is preposterous,” wrote Lamberth, who has tangled with Clinton aides for decades in a series of cases.
The judge, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, said the fact that more Clinton emails continue to dribble out from the State Department raises questions about the thoroughness of the government’s earlier actions to recover Clinton’s messages.
“Even years after the FBI investigation, the slow trickle of new emails has yet to be explained,” Lamberth wrote. He blasted Clinton’s prior answers given in response to another judge’s order as “incomplete, unhelpful, or cursory, at best.”