Court orders Hillary Clinton to be deposed about private email server

The latest round of discovery won in Judicial Watch FOIA case also includes a subpoena for Google.

Updated: March 2, 2020 - 7:07pm

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A federal judge on Monday granted a conservative watchdog's request to depose Hillary Clinton about her use of a private email server when she was secretary of State, extending the controversy into her mishandling of classified information.

The order signed by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth allows Judicial Watch "to depose Secretary Clinton on matters concerning her reasons for using a private server and her understanding of State's records management obligations.”

The court also will allow questions about the 2012 Benghazi attack if they specifically pertain to “knowledge of the existence of any emails, documents, or text messages related to the Benghazi attack." But Clinton may not be questioned about any of the underlying circumstances around the deadly attack that marred her tenure as America's chief diplomat.

Clinton’s former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and two other people have also been ordered to sit for depositions during this latest round of discovery.

The order also grants Judicial Watch’s request for a subpoena to Google of any potential documents or records that the company possesses pertaining to Clinton’s emails during her time as Secretary of State.

“The Court is not confident that 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,” the judge wrote. “For this reason, the Court believes the subpoena would be worthwhile and may even uncover additional previously undisclosed emails.”

The new round of discovery comes more than three years after then-FBI Director James Comey concluded that Clinton should not face criminal charges but used bad judgment in allowing classified government emails to flow through her insecure private email server.

Comey's conduct in reaching that conclusion later faced extensive criticism, including a Justice Department inspector general report concluding he wrongly usurped the authority of federal prosecutors in declining criminal charges.