Legal watchdog group Judicial Watch said on Tuesday that a federal court has ruled discovery can begin in its case involving Hillary Clinton’s emails when she was serving as President Obama’s secretary of state.
U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth also ordered former senior Obama administration officials Susan Rice, who served as national security adviser, and Ben Rhodes, who also served in a deputy national security advisory role, to provide written answers to Judicial Watch questions under oath regarding the Benghazi scandal.
“Senior officials â€” including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap â€” will now have to answer Judicial Watchâ€™s written questions under oath,” Judicial Watch said in a statement published on the group’s website.
“The court rejected the DOJ and State Departmentâ€™s objections to Judicial Watchâ€™s court-orderedÂ discovery plan. (The court, in ordering a discovery plan last month,Â ruledÂ that the Clinton email system was â€œone of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.â€).”
Specifically, Judicial Watch said it would seek answers regarding:
- Whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system;
- whether the State Departmentâ€™s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith; and
- whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watchâ€™s FOIA request.
“Discovery is scheduled to be completed within 120 days. The court will hold a post-discovery hearing to determine if Judicial Watch may also depose additional witnesses, including Clinton and her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills,” the statement noted.
â€œIn a major victory for accountability, Judge Lamberth today authorized Judicial Watch to take discovery on whether the Clinton email system evaded FOIA and whether the Benghazi scandal was one reason for keeping Mrs. Clintonâ€™s email secret,â€ said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton on Tuesday.
â€œToday, Judicial Watch issued document requests and other discovery to the State Department about the Clinton email scandal. Next up, we will begin questioning key witnesses under oath.â€
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