Once again, the persistence of conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has finally paid off. D.C. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth has granted their request to depose Hillary Clinton about her emails and Benghazi attack documents. Not only that, but he's allowed the depositions of Hillary’s IT technician, her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and two other State Department officials.
"I give kudos to Judicial Watch,” House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes said to Tucker Carlson on Monday. “They have been tough. They’ve stayed on this. That’s what we have to do in this town. These people don’t just lie down. They don’t go away. You have to fight them every single step of the way.”
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I know my readers get tired of waiting for justice, but persistence is the only way. This case goes back to 2014, when Judicial Watch found out that Susan Rice’s “talking points” for her false statements about Benghazi were actually created by the Obama White House. Recall that it was JW’s lawsuit about Benghazi that led to the discovery of Hillary’s private email server in 2015. Think of it: if JW hadn’t been digging around about Benghazi, Hillary’s use of a private email server to conduct government business would likely have remained a secret forever. There’s so much about The Swamp that would never have come to light. (And who knows what else there is that’s still shrouded in darkness; we’ve seen just the tip of the iceberg.)
So now, in the ongoing case of Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State, Judge Lamberth, on the guiding principle that more information is always better, has opted for more testimony. (Thank you!) It was Judge Lamberth who in 2018 ordered discovery into whether Hillary’s use of a private server was intended to stymie Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests. (I would add that no one knows more about the stymieing of FOIA requests than Judicial Watch.) Lamberth said that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”
Of course, it’s challenging whenever plaintiffs have to show intent. Did Hillary INTEND to circumvent FOIA? It defies reason to think she didn't. Fortunately, Judge Lamberth appears to be an eminently reasonable jurist. To us, it appeared that Hillary had skated away to a wine bar in Chappaqua, but this case has been moving under the radar.
Hillary argued that she had already answered questions and should not have to again, but Judge Lamberth disagreed. “With each passing round of discovery,” he said, “the Court is left with more questions than answers.” He finds it inexplicable that with so many important questions left unanswered, the Justice Department wants to close the case. “The Court is especially troubled by this,” he continued. “To argue that the Court now has enough information to determine whether State conducted an adequate search is preposterous, especially when considering State’s deficient representations regarding the existence of additional Clinton emails.”
My favorite part of the ruling is Judge Lamberth’s comments on Hillary’s ability to recollect: “The Court has considered the numerous times in which Secretary Clinton said she could not recall or remember certain details in her prior interrogatory answers. In a deposition, it is more likely that plaintiff’s counsel could use documents and other testimony to attempt to refresh her recollection. And so, to avoid the unsatisfactory and inefficient outcome of multiple rounds of fruitless interrogatories and move this almost six-year-old case closer to its conclusion, Judicial Watch will be permitted to clarify and further explore Secretary Clinton’s answers IN PERSON AND IMMEDIATELY AFTER SHE GIVES THEM [emphasis mine]. The Court agrees with Judicial Watch --- it is time to hear directly from Secretary Clinton.”
One of the other officials that Lamberth is allowing to be deposed is Paul Combetta, an IT specialist who worked on Hillary’s private server and was involved in deleting her emails (after they’d been subpoenaed). He took the Fifth during previous questioning, so we’ll see. Remember this?
By now, Judicial Watch should be well-armed with questions for Combetta to not answer. Also to be deposed are a couple of other State Department officials familiar with Hillary’s private server, Brett Gittleson and Yvette Jacks.
Hillary will play the artful dodger. As Gregg Jarrett said on Monday’s HANNITY show, she is “a master of prevarication. She has elevated lies and deception and evasion to an art form.” It’s true; we’ve seen her tell lie after lie and change her story whenever she needed to. Recall that at the start of the curiosity about her email, she said she hadn’t emailed classified material. Later she said she never sent material that was classified at the time. Still later, she changed her story again, saying she had never emailed anything marked “classified.”
Even James Comey had to say that this was not true. (Never mind that he lied himself when he said “no reasonable prosecutor” would take that case.)
Oh, and in her bogus “Mid-Year Exam” interview with the FBI, Hillary said some version of “I don’t recall” 39 times. Jarrett thinks this new interview will most likely be a waste of time because she’ll just “feign amnesia.”
In this opinion piece for FOX NEWS, he calls her “slippery as an eel.”
But I would add that her amnesia-feigning will fall at the same time she’s trying to garner some notice as an alternative for the presidential nomination. Why should Democrats opt for her phony memory loss when they already have a candidate with real memory loss, Joe Biden?
And she actually might not get away with it this time. Expect her to be especially hard-pressed in this deposition, perhaps being put on the spot as never before. As Judge Lamberth said, “[The existing record] 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 State Department business.” He called her responses “either incomplete, unhelpful or cursory at best.” And no –- written questions will not do, he said, as they “will only muddle any understanding of Secretary Clinton’s state of mind and fail to capture the full picture...”
We’re not going to learn from this case what actions were taken after the 2012 Benghazi attack; that’s a separate issue and Judge Lamberth has ruled witnesses can’t be questioned about it. But witnesses will be asked about “their knowledge of the existence of any emails, documents or text messages related to the Benghazi attack.”
There’s a good reason why we have laws against doing what Hillary did. Can you imagine what such easy access to the Secretary of State’s emails would mean to foreign spies? I’d bet that over the decades in previous administrations, enemy agents have lost their lives trying to gain such access. Yet Hillary Clinton didn’t care and has never thought the laws applied to her. It’s time for her to finally learn she was wrong about that.
Another take-away from this: Judge Lamberth is a Reagan appointee and a fabulous judge who obviously cares about the law. Elections mean things!