Thought that the Clinton email scandal was over? Think again!
Our friends over at Judicial Watch have been fighting for years to make sure that Hillary Clinton is forced to answer for her actions regarding her lawless private email system.
After all of these court fights, their hard work is now paying off. Judge Royce Lamberth issued an order yesterday giving Judicial Watch the green light to depose Hillary Clinton herself, in person and under oath. Previously, Clinton had gotten away with answering written questions, where the answers were no doubt written and edited by her legal team. For the first time, she will have to answer hard questions herself!
Judge Lamberth has given Judicial Watch the power to depose Clinton 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."
This is big. As we have explained before, Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, had what is known as Original Classification Authority. What that means is that she was just one of a handful of government officials with the ability to unilaterally mark documents as "classified." Conversely, she also had the power to declassify some documents.
As a part of her onboarding to become Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was taught about the country's classification laws. On top of that, she was informed that she had an obligation to safeguard classified information, even if the documents were not, themselves, marked classified. The point is that Classification Authorities cannot simply say they didn't realize information was classified because there was no formal classification marking. In those circumstances, it is up to the Classification Authority to add the markings.
Clinton mishandled a TON of classified information, including documents with formal classification labels. Since 2016, Clinton's defenders have sought to declassify some of those documents, arguing that they never should have been classified to begin with.
But the point is that with or without formal classifications, Clinton still had a duty to protect the information.
If she set up her private server to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act, then she committed a crime. And if Hillary Clinton operated a private email server for a criminal purpose, then the argument put forward by James Comey that Hillary didn't intend to break the law goes out the window.
Obviously, Clinton will go into this deposition with a lot of coaching and you can expect that when the tough questions come, she will get hit with a sudden bout of amnesia and say that she "doesn't recall." But if Judicial Watch can get her to admit what we all already know -- she deliberately ran a private server to make sure she had the right to decide which records became public -- then that could end up being enough to get the Clinton email investigation re-opened.