Unlike Hillary Clinton and her allies in the Obama administration, federal courts tend to take the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) quite seriously.
Late last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s granted us permission to submit interrogatories to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to depose the former Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat (“S/ES-IRM”) John Bentel.
The court order reads: "the State Department shall release all remaining documents responsive to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act request by no later than September 30, 2016; and it is further ordered that, consistent with Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Judicial Watch may serve interrogatories on Secretary Clinton by no later than October 14, 2016 . . . Secretary Clinton’s responses are due by no later than thirty days thereafter . . . Judicial Watch may depose Mr. Bentel by no later than October 31, 2016."
In his opinion Judge Sullivan writes: "The Court is persuaded that Secretary Clinton’s testimony is necessary to enable her to explain on the record the purpose for the creation and operation of the clintonemail.com system for State Department business."
On July 8, Judicial Watch submitted a request for permission to depose Clinton; the director of Office of Correspondence and Records of the Executive Secretariat Clarence Finney; and Bentel. The request arises in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit before Judge Sullivan that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff to Clinton.
The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the ClintonEmail.com system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State).
Though we still think an in-person deposition is appropriate, we are pleased by the court’s authorizing us to learn more about Clinton’s email practices from Clinton — under oath.
We will move quickly to get answers. If things stay on track, we should have answers from Clinton, under oath, by the end of next month.
This decision is a reminder that Hillary Clinton is not above the law and that at least one federal court thinks she hasn’t answered all the outstanding questions about her emails.
Tom Fitton is the president of Judicial Watch. He is a nationally recognized expert on government corruption. A former talk radio and television host and analyst, Tom is well known across the country as a national spokesperson for the conservative cause. He has been quoted in Time, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and most every other major newspaper in the country. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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