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Judicial Watch Wants Top State Dept. Official to Testify on Hillary Emails

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By    |   Tuesday, 06 Oct 2015 08:23 PM

Judicial Watch Tuesday asked a federal judge to order a top State Department official to testify whether he might have authorized the set-up and use of Hillary Clinton's private email account during her four years as the nation's top diplomat.

The watchdog group asked U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan to order Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, a 42-year State Department veteran, to testify in the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit Judicial Watch has filed over Clinton's private emails, Politico reports.

"He would be able to easily answer … did she have the authorization to use Clintonemail.com?" said Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha. "Mrs. Clinton either was approved or authorized to use this system of records or she was a rogue employee."

The request came in the first major hearing in the case, raising the question of whether Clinton had official approval from the agency to use her own account and server.

Neither Clinton nor the State Department has said whether official approval had been given for the email account. The former first lady has said the practice was "permitted" under agency guidelines, though she has not publicly disclosed who set it up and serviced it.

Marcia Berman, a Justice Department attorney, opposed bringing in Kennedy, saying that it would take away from his regular responsibilities.

"We do not think that's an efficient use of a government official's time," she said, according to Politico.

But Sullivan ordered legal filings that could extend the case into next February.

If Kennedy must testify or provide a deposition, it could possibly come during the Democratic primaries, Politico reports. Nearly 40 FOIA lawsuits on the Clinton emails are pending before 17 federal judges in Washington.

Kennedy was the department's point person for the initial written request that Clinton return copies of her work-related emails, Politico reports.

He has since exchanged communications with Clinton and former aides about their records.

This includes a letter the State Department released on Tuesday in which Kennedy asked Clinton attorney David Kendall last week whether she had any official records from the first two months of her tenure.

Earlier this year, Clinton's office said that she did not begin using the private account, Clintonemail.com, until the middle of March 2009.

The theory was debunked when the agency recently obtained an email exchange during that period — and, in part, on Clinton's private account — between her and Gen. David Petraeus.

"I ask you to confirm that … former Secretary Clinton has provided the department with all federal records in her possession, regardless of their format or the domain on which they were stored or created," Kennedy wrote on Friday, Politico reports.

"To the extent her emails might be found on any Internet service and email providers, we encourage you to contact them."

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Judicial Watch Tuesday asked a federal judge to order a top State Department official to testify whether he might have authorized the set-up and use of Hillary Clinton's private email account during her four years as the nation's top diplomat.
judicial, watch, state, department, authorize, hillary clinton, email, account
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2015-23-06
Tuesday, 06 Oct 2015 08:23 PM
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