Former U.S. Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, seen above giving a keynote speech in April, may need to be deposed as part of a lawsuit regarding use of her private email server while State Department chief, according to a federal judge. Photo by Bryan R. Smith/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 4 (UPI) -- A federal judge suggested Wednesday that Hillary Clinton may need to be deposed regarding her use of a private email server, while secretary of state, when setting rules for discovery of evidence in a lawsuit related to her top aide.
As part of an order laying out the plan for Judicial Watch to conduct interviews about top Clinton aide Huma Abedin's employment situation while Clinton was U.S. State Department chief, Federal District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan said it may be helpful for Clinton to answer some questions, NBC News reported Wednesday.
Judicial Watch filed the case based on questions about Abedin doing consulting work for the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings during her tenure at the State Department. Clinton's emails have entered into the conversation as the conservative organization says they may hold some explanation for the type of work the aide was conducting.
Included in the order is approval for the depositions of several current and former department officials, as well as Abedin, former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and Bryan Pagliano, an employee who installed, serviced and maintained the Clinton's private email server, among others.
"Based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary," Sullivan wrote in the order. "If plaintiff believes Mrs. Clinton's testimony is required, it will request permission from the Court at the appropriate time."
Judicial Watch sued the State Department to get Abedin's emails, but it is one of several the organization has filed relating to Clinton and her email server.
Former U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker told The Hill that the case could require Clinton's deposition to fully understand how the server was set up and how it works, but added that her legal team "is going to fight that really hard."
"This is a significant victory for transparency and accountability," Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said in a press release. "Judicial Watch will use this discovery to get all of the facts behind Hillary Clinton's and the Obama State Department's thwarting of the Freedom of Information Act so that the public can be sure that all of the emails from her illicit email system are reviewed and released to the public as the law requires."