As previously reported here, Federal Judge Royce Lambert determined on Monday that Hillary Clinton is required to be deposed under oath about her State Dept emails, including any that related to the Benghazi debacle. Judicial Watch has been pursuing face-to-face depositions with Hillary ever since their 2015 FOIA lawsuit led to the discovery of her unauthorized private server.
Appearing on Lou Dobbs show on Fox News Channel Monday night, Tom Fitton (Judicial Watch’s president) elaborated further on the judge’s ruling and also commented on the Senate slow-walking investigations in the Bidens and Burisma. Here is some of the Q&A:
Dobbs: The former secretary of state will have to answer questions under oath about her emails and Benghazi attack documents. Judge Royce Lambert stated the following in his ruling: “The State Dept has thus far failed to persuade the Court that all of Secretary Clinton’s recoverable emails have been located. This is unacceptable.” … Your thoughts on where this goes now. This is not the first time that a judge has said “proceed.” It is striking that it’s in a DC federal court … this ruling.
Fitton: It’s over the objections of the Justice Dept and the State Dept. They were in court in December against us on this very issue trying to shut the inquiry down. We had one or two attorneys our side. On the other side, we had 6 attorneys sitting there with the government and four lawyers with Hillary Clinton and her aides. Thankfully, the judge overruled the objections to further questioning because we have had more evidence come out as a result of discovery in this case. This is the case that broke open the Clinton email scandal way back in 2015. It’s about the Benghazi talking points. The judge wants to know what was Hillary Clinton thinking when she was using this system as it relates to the Freedom of Information Act. He wans to know about whether there are document issues related to Benghazi. Her top aide Chery Mills also has to be questioned. He also authorized us to subpoena Google because there’s this issue about whether one of her email aides or vendors can send all of her emails to a Google account. This is a broadening inquiry. It’s limited in scope; we can’t ask every question under the sun that we might want to, but it’s remarkable that the Justice Dept and State Dept oppose this. Every effort that we made to get more answers, they have opposed.
Dobbs: On what grounds? I hate to seem stunned, but to see the Justice Dept again trying to shut down an inquiry into a matter that is far from settled – certainly in the view of the public – is remarkable.
Fitton: Well, they suggested the extraordinary circumstances necessary for discovery and questioning witnesses under oath hadn’t been met by the Clinton email scandal. They didn’t think it was serious enough. They thought all the questions had been answered, and obviously the court disagreed. We’re getting more testimony showing there was … we just got a Benghazi email showing that they had a Benghazi email for years that they were holding back. And if they had disclosed it, the whole email scandal would have been exposed years ago. And then the FBI and State Dept are dribbling out more Clinton emails. The judge is upset with the way this has been handled by the State Dept and the Justice Dept and thinks that Hillary Clinton can provide more information because she has answered questions under oath but only in writing to us, and from the judge’s point of view that has not been sufficient, and we should be able to question her directly … our attorneys will and follow up the record with her in person. So this is a straight-forward case in many respects. What’s remarkable is the obstruction we’ve been facing from this Administration. The President has said when I tweeted about this from one of our last appearances [before the court] … he said it was a disgrace that the Justice Dept was still defending Hillary Clinton. We’ll see what happens next. We have to get it done within 75 days.
Dobbs: Let me turn to Lindsey Graham congratulation Joe Biden on his South Carolina victory, and he still has not done anything about investigating the Bidens and Burisma … the entire Ukrainian quagmire. Why not?
Fitton: I don’t know why not. This is why we have Judicial Watch because this is the work we do because we don’t rely on the Senate or Congress. The Senate is designed to suppress strong investigations, and unfortunately the leadership of the Republican Party doesn’t want to change the rules to allow them to more easily bring in witnesses under oath. Its not like the House where majority rules; they operate by consensus in the Senate even though the law or the rules don’t necessarily require that. And so as a result, nothing much ever gets done. This is why I think the President should appoint a special counsel independent of the Justice Dept, the FBI and frankly Congress and order full transparency by his agencies so that the American people can see the information, as opposed to the relying on the hapless Congress, or in many ways, the co-conspirators in Congress with the Deep State, to find out the truth. They’re usually involved in either covering up, or they’re uninterested in finding it, or they really don’t know what to do.
Dobbs: I have to say that I support your idea of a special counsel because I share Judicial Watch’s commitment to the public’s right to know. But I also have to admit that there is a small particle of pettiness in me that would like to see the delicious moment at which the President would sic a special counsel on someone else. It would be somewhat ironic justice.
End of the Q&A. Key points made included:
- Hillary Clinton will be deposed in person, not via written answers, within 75 days.
- Her top aide Cheryl Mills will also be deposed under oath.
- The State Dept and Justice Dept continue to obstruct access to Hillary’s emails. They have argued that the matter is “not serious enough” to warrant depositions under oath. [To me, this is ASTOUNDING since she compromised at least 22 emails classified as Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) – and quite possibly many more among the missing emails. This is most definitely serious enough to warrant face-to-face depositions!]
- The judge will authorize subpoenas for Google in order to ascertain whether there are other emails that can be recovered.
- Senate rules preclude aggressive investigations, as consensus is required to proceed. The Republican leadership in the Senate doesn’t want to change the rules to make it easier to conduct investigations.
- Fitton (and Dobbs) support the appointment of an independent special counsel with the power necessary to thoroughly investigate the Ukraine-related corruption and election meddling.