By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) Lawyers for Hillary Clinton have asked D.C. Circuit appeals court to overturn an earlier decision by a lower court ordering her and longtime aide Cheryl Mills to be deposed by legal watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Lawyers for Clinton and Mills filed a “Petition for Writ of Mandamus” on Friday, according to the group’s website, after U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, granted Judicial Watch’s request for their depositions about Clinton’s emails and Benghazi attack records.
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“This desperate act is yet another attempt by the Clinton machine to delay truth and accountability for her email conduct and how it impacted the people’s ‘right to know’ under FOIA,” or the Freedom of Information Act, stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
The group noted further:
The Clinton request comes in Judicial Watch’s lawsuit that seeks records concerning “talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack” (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Judicial Watch famously uncovered in 2014 that the “talking points” that provided the basis for Susan Rice’s false statements were created by the Obama White House. This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit led directly to the disclosure of the Clinton email system in 2015.
On March 3, 2020, Judge Lamberth granted Judicial Watch’s request to depose Clinton about her emails and Benghazi attack documents. The court also ordered the deposition of Mills and two other State Department officials. Additionally, the court granted Judicial Watch’s request to subpoena Google for relevant documents and records associated with Clinton’s emails during her tenure at the State Department.
In mid-December, Lamberth first ordered a rare discovery into whether Clinton’s use of a private email server was a result of her attempt to try and hide her activities from the FOIA process; whether the State Department she once led under President Obama intended to settle the case in late 2014 and early 2015 amounted to bad faith; and “whether the State Department has adequately searched for records responsive” to JW’s initial request.
There are plenty of reasons to suspect that the State Department, now led by President Trump’s nominee, Mike Pompeo, is still acting in a manner to defend Clinton despite obvious misconduct, according to JW.
In December, Lamberth ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”
And yet, the State and Justice Departments” continued to defend Clinton’s and the agency’s email conduct,” JW said in its press release.
“Discovery up until this point has brought to light a noteworthy amount of relevant information, but Judicial Watch requests an additional round of discovery, and understandably so. With each passing round of discovery, the Court is left with more questions than answers,” Lamberth wrote Dec. 18, rejecting State and Justice requests to limit discovery.
Lamberth added that the behavior of both departments — which are still moving to shield Clinton from further scrutiny despite the fact that JW continues to uncover evidence indicating misconduct — is itself troubling.
“[T]here is still more to learn. Even though many important questions remain unanswered, the Justice Department inexplicably still takes the position that the court should close discovery and rule on dispositive motions. The Court is especially troubled by this,” he wrote.
“To argue that the Court now has enough information to determine whether State conducted an adequate search is preposterous, especially when considering State’s deficient representations regarding the existence of additional Clinton emails. Instead, the Court will authorize a new round of discovery,” Lamberth added.
“The Court agrees with Judicial Watch – it is time to hear directly from Secretary Clinton,” he wrote.
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As Fitton has noted, it’s clear why Clinton was never held accountable by Obama: He knew about her secret email account from the beginning, and his White House helped hide the fact that she was using one — in violation of open records laws and requirements.
— Jon Dougherty (@JonDougherty10) March 14, 2022
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