Judicial Watch is a conservative, non-partisan foundation whose motto is “Because no one is above the law.” We’ve quoted Judicial Watch on these pages frequently because the organization regularly and doggedly manages to obtain official documents and reports exposing the corruption and mismanagement so prevalent in our federal government.
For months, Judicial Watch as been focusing its scrutiny on Hillary Clinton, her private server and of course her emails during her tenure as secretary of state. No one has yet been able to question Clinton about her private server under oath – not the FBI, not Trey Gowdy — no one. Until now.
Yesterday, a federal judge ordered Hillary Clinton to answer questions from Judicial Watch under oath. The organization had hoped to question her in person, but the judge has ruled she only has to answer in writing.
Judicial Watch must submit its questions by October 14th and she has 30 days to respond – which means her answers could potentially be delayed until after the election. Obviously we’re hoping Judicial Watch submits those questions by like…Monday.
Here is the organization’s official statement on the ruling:Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s decision granting Judicial Watch 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: “We are pleased that this federal court ordered Hillary Clinton to provide written answers under oath to some key questions about her email scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We will move quickly to get these answers. The decision is a reminder that Hillary Clinton is not above the law.”
The court order reads:
[T] 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 (“S/ES-CRM”) 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 (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
Naturally, the Clinton campaign went into spin mode, trying to prevent a tailspin. Fox News reports campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon said “Judicial Watch is a right-wing organization that has been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s. This is just another lawsuit intended to try to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and so we are glad that the judge has accepted our offer to answer these questions in writing rather than grant Judicial Watch’s request.”
Actually having it all in writing will make it a lot easier for us to report on how she tries to wriggle out of this one. And isn’t it telling that her organization worries the truth will “hurt” her campaign?
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]