Alleged security breaches involving a former foreign policy adviser to former President Barack Obama will be revisited in court after a judge agreed to allow further questioning on March 2.
D.C. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth has granted a request from conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch to order Hillary Clinton to deliver a sworn deposition about allegations the former secretary of state used a private email address to handle official government matters.
The approval came despite Clinton’s claim that she should not be required to answer the allegations since she had already done so and no charges were made against the Democratic presidential candidate for the 2016 general election.
“As extensive as the existing record is, it does not sufficiently explain Secretary Clinton’s state of mind when she decided it would be an acceptable practice to set up and use a private server to conduct [U.S.] State Department business,” Lamberth said according to Fox News. “Those [earlier] responses were either incomplete, unhelpful, or cursory at best, simply put her responses left many more questions than answers.”
The main point of contention is there is no way to confirm exactly how the former secretary of state came to the understanding the State Department would protect her private emails, and when she realized record management employees working for the department had no knowledge of her private email server.
It was also unclear how Clinton could possibly argue that using a private server to perform State Department business was not against the law.
The judge was also not in favor of allowing Clinton to answer questions in writing because there was no guarantee the method would not “muddle any understanding of Secretary Clinton’s state of mind.”
“[It would also] fail to capture the full picture, thus delaying the final disposition of this case even further,” he said.
The court has also allowed Judicial Watch to subpoena Google for documents and records that might shed light on Clinton’s email activity whileshe was secretary of state between the years 2009 and 2013.
The judge dismissed the Department of Justice’s earlier explanation that the court has enough evidence to decide whether the state performed an “adequate search.”
“[This claim] is preposterous, especially when considering state’s deficient representations regarding the existence of additional Clinton emails,” Lamberth said according to a statement. “Even though many important questions remain unanswered, the Justice Department inexplicably still takes the position that the court should close discovery and rule on dispositive motions. The court is especially troubled by this.”
Judicial Watch welcomed the judge’s decision and hopes revisiting the case will provide answers in the public interest.
“Judicial Watch uncovered the Clinton email scandal and we are pleased that the court authorized us to depose Mrs. Clinton directly on her email conduct and how it impacted the people’s ‘right to know’ under [the] Freedom of Information Act,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in the statement.