A federal judge has ordered former Secretary of State and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to sit for a sworn deposition in order to answer more questions regarding her use of a private email server during her tenure at the State Department. D.C. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth granted a request from conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, arguing that her past statements on the matter were insufficient, Fox News reports.
“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. According to Lamberth, Clinton’s previous written responses to questions “were either incomplete, unhelpful, or cursory at best. Simply put her responses left many more questions than answers.”
Judge Lamberth specifically ordered an in-person deposition because using written questions now “will only muddle any understanding of Secretary Clinton’s state of mind and fail to capture the full picture, thus delaying the final disposition of this case even further.”
The State Department has been pushing for the discovery phase of the case to come to a close, but Lamberth said he is not ready to do so, saying that “there is still more to learn.”
Judicial Watch, which initiated this case in 2014, is looking for information regarding whether Clinton used her private email server to intentionally get around the Freedom of Information Act, whether the State Department acted in bad faith when they tried to settle the case years ago, and whether the department had adequately looked for records in response to Judicial Watch’s initial FOIA request.
Given that the settlement attempts and records search took place after Clinton left office, the judge ruled that the deposition should focus on whether she intentionally tried to use her private server to evade FOIA and her understanding of the State Department’s record management requirements.
According to Fox News, “Lamberth also granted Judicial Watch’s request to depose former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills, IT specialist Paul Combetta, who was involved in deleting Clinton’s emails, as well as Brett Gittleson and Yvette Jacks, who were State Department officials familiar with Clinton’s private email server.”
This story is developing.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis