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Federal judge allows deposition of Hillary Clinton in emails lawsuit

Federal judge allows deposition of Hillary Clinton in emails lawsuit
A federal judge on Monday ruled that Hillary Clinton may be deposed in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit regarding her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state. Photo by Paul Treadway/ UPI | License Photo

March 2 (UPI) -- A federal judge on Monday ruled that Hillary Clinton can be deposed in a lawsuit about the State Department's record-keeping of her private emails while serving as secretary of state.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth issued the order in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch nearly six years ago seeking emails related to the attack on the Benghazi consulate which killed four Americans in 2012.

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The deposition would be the first time Clinton would be required to submit to live questioning under oath about the attack in Libya after having previously submitted sworn written answers in another lawsuit.

She was also investigated by the State Department inspector general and the FBI over the matter.

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In his order on Monday, Lamberth said that the prior probes may not have answered all of the lingering questions regarding Clinton's use of a private email server.

"Any further discovery should focus on whether she used a private server to evade [the Freedom of Information Act] and as a corollary to that, what she understood about State's records management obligations," he wrote.

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Lamberth ruled that Judicial Watch can also depose two State Department technology managers who worked on Clinton's email management and Clinton's top aide Cheryl Mills. The group, however, would not be able to ask about the U.S. government's response to the Benghazi attack.

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Further, Lambert authorized the group to subpoena Google for records related to Clinton's emails during her time as secretary of state.

"The COurt is not confident the State currently possesses every Clinton email recovered by the FBI; even years after the FBI investigation, the slow trickle of new emails has yet to be explained," he wrote. "For this reason, the Court believes the subpoena would be worthwhile and may even uncover additional previously undisclosed emails."

Lamberth provided 75 days for depositions and evidence to be collected.

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