A federal judge has ordered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to answer questions from conservative group Judicial Watch about her use of a private email server while Secretary of State. She will not be deposed to answer these questions however, and will be allowed to answer them in writing.
The judge gave Judicial Watch until Oct. 14 to submit their questions to Clinton and gave her 30 days to respond, which would likely push the publication of those answers to after November’s presidential election.
In the opinion of Judge Emmet Sullivan, who presided over the case, Judicial Watch presented persuasive evidence that the State Department had not provided them with all of the details they asked for in their Freedom of Information Act Request.
However, Judge Sullivan did not agree that an in-person deposition of Clinton was required.
“Judicial Watch’s argument that a deposition is preferable in this case because of the ability to ask follow-up questions is not persuasive,” Sullivan wrote in his opinion. “Given the extensive public record related to the clintonemail.com system, a record which Judicial Watch has acknowledged, Judicial Watch will be able to anticipate many follow-up questions. For those follow-up questions that Judicial Watch is unable to anticipate, it can move this Court for permission to serve additional interrogatories.”
The Clinton campaign welcomed the judge’s decision and said that Judicial Watch’s demand for an in-person deposition was only designed to damage her public image.
“Judicial Watch is a right-wing organization that has been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s. This is just another lawsuit intended to try to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and so we are glad that the judge has accepted our offer to answer these questions in writing rather than grant Judicial Watch’s request,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said.
Even though it did not get everything it wanted in this decision, Judicial Watch is still treating this like a victory.
“We are pleased that this federal court ordered Hillary Clinton to provide written answers under oath to some key questions about her email scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We will move quickly to get these answers. The decision is a reminder that Hillary Clinton is not above the law.”
[Associated Press] [POLITICO]