Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be deposed on orders given by a Federal Judge for the first time in relation to her use of a private email account during her State Department tenure.
According to United States of America District Court Royce Lamberth, Hillary Clinton’s sworn written answers were “incomplete, unhelpful, or cursory,” hence the deposition.
Lamberth issued the order Monday morning in connection with a five-and-a-half-year-old Freedom of Information Act lawsuit the conservative group Judicial Watch filed seeking emails related to the deadly 2012 attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
Clinton was previously required to submit a sworn written statement about her email use, but the deposition—if it takes place—would be the first time she has had to submit to live questioning under oath on the subject.
During her four years in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, Clinton relied on a private email account and server for both her work-related and personal messages. The practice led to a storm of controversy that roiled her 2016 presidential bid and is widely viewed as contributing to her ultimate defeat by Donald Trump.
During her campaign press conference, Hillary Clinton said she kept the private account and server after taking over as secretary of state in 2009 as a matter of convenience and not to avoid FOIA or other disclosure requirements.
The FBI investigated, interviewed Clinton, and recommended against criminal charges, but it did find dozens of messages in her account that officials said contained highly classified information.
However, Judge Lamberth said in his ruling Monday that the FBI probe and representations by the State Department have not adequately put to rest questions about the episode and Clinton’s deposition is needed to address those concerns.
“To argue that the Court now has enough information to determine whether State conducted an adequate search is preposterous,” said Lamberth, who has tangled with Clinton aides for years in a series of cases.
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