Last February, when a federal judge granted Judicial Watch’s motion for discovery on whether the State Department and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deliberately thwarted their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for six years, we knew it spelled big trouble for Clinton. The conservative watchdog group has now scheduled six Clinton email witnesses for deposition testimony throughout the months of May and June.
The first witness, former State Department official Lewis A. Lukens, was deposed on Wednesday, May 18.
According to Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton, some of the information he provided was “embarrassing” and “not helpful” to Clinton and the State Department.
Tom Fitton, whose group is suing the State Department, says he is restricted in what he can legally say about an interview conducted with Lewis Lukens, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state and the executive directory of the secretariat during Clinton’s tenure. But the Judicial Watch president did tell The Daily Caller that Clinton will not be pleased with the information he provided.
“The testimony was not helpful for Clinton or the State Department,” Fitton told TheDC in a phone interview.
Lukens is of interest to Fitton and Judicial Watch because of emails that he sent just days into Clinton’s term in which he proposed the idea of setting up a stand-alone computer so that she could email from the agency’s executive offices.
In a Jan. 23, 2009 email to Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Lukens said that he was checking into obtaining a BlackBerry for Clinton issued by the National Security Agency.
In the meantime, in order to allow Clinton to check her email during the workday, Lukens said he would “set up the office across the hall as requested.”
“Also, I think we should go ahead (but will await your green light) and set up a stand-alone PC in the Secretary’s office, connect to the internet (but not through our system) to enable her to check her emails from her desk,” he wrote in the email.
Judicial Watch is also seeking a deposition from Hillary Clinton. The group announced on May 16 that it has filed a proposed order for discovery with a federal court seeking her testimony:
“Mrs. Clinton’s testimony will help the courts determine whether her email practices thwarted the Freedom of Information Act,” said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president.
They are also seeking:
… documents about the State Department’s Benghazi document responses and the handling of non-State.gov emails of Clinton and other top State officials.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan wrote the following in a May 4, 2016 order:
[B]ased on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary.