JUST IN: Federal Court Orders Discovery to Begin on Clinton Email Scandal – Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes Must Respond Under Oath
Once again Judicial Watch is doing the heavy lifting.
A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
Judge Lamberth also ordered senior Obama officials to provide written answers to Judicial Watch under oath.
Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes will be deposed under oath on the Benghazi scandal.
Via Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch announced today that United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers and Clinton aides will now be deposed under oath. Senior officials, including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap, will now have to answer Judicial Watch’s written questions under oath. The court rejected the DOJ and State Department’s objections to Judicial Watch’s court-ordered discovery plan. (The court, in ordering a discovery plan last month, ruledthat the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)
Judicial Watch’s discovery will seek answers to:
- Whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system;
- whether the State Department’s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith; and
- whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.
Discovery is scheduled to be completed within 120 days. The court will hold a post-discovery hearing to determine if Judicial Watch may also depose additional witnesses, including Clinton and her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.
Judge Lamberth ordered written responses under oath to Judicial Watch’s questions from Obama administration senior officials Rice, Rhodes and Sullivan, and former FBI official Priestap. Rice and Rhodes will answer interrogatories under oath on the Benghazi scandal. Rejecting the State and Justice Department objections to discovery on the infamous Benghazi talking points, Judge Lamberth reiterated:
Yet Rice’s talking points and State’s understanding of the attack play an unavoidably central role in this case: information about the points’ development and content, as well as their discussion and dissemination before and after Rice’s appearances could reveal unsearched, relevant records; State’s role in the points’ content and development could shed light on Clinton’s motives for shielding her emails from FOIA requesters or on State’s reluctance to search her emails.
Judicial Watch also may serve interrogatories on Monica Hanley, a former staff member in the State Department’s Office of the Secretary, and on Lauren Jiloty, Clinton’s former special assistant.
Last week Judicial Watch submitted a court-ordered discovery plan seeking depositions from top Obama officials involved in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal including Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes.
The discovery plan stems from a December, 2018 ruling by Judge Royce Lamberth ordering the State Department and DOJ to submit discovery in three areas.
Judge Lamberth called Clinton’s use of the private email server “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”
The DOJ fought against Judicial Watch and colluded with Hillary Clinton’s cronies to limit discovery, but Judicial Watch prevailed.
Tom Fitton celebrated the victory and applauded Judge Lamberth in a statement:
“In a major victory for accountability, Judge Lamberth today authorized Judicial Watch to take discovery on whether the Clinton email system evaded FOIA and whether the Benghazi scandal was one reason for keeping Mrs. Clinton’s email secret. Today, Judicial Watch issued document requests and other discovery to the State Department about the Clinton email scandal. Next up, we will begin questioning key witnesses under oath.”
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