Judicial Watch Statement on State Department’s and Hillary Clinton’s Opposition to Deposition of Clinton, Finney and Bentel
JULY 12, 2016
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the State Department’s and Secretary Clinton’s oppositions to Judicial Watch’s request for permission to depose former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, among others:
It is no surprise that neither Hillary Clinton nor the Obama State Department agrees with our request to depose Mrs. Clinton.
What is notable is that the State Department finally admits that Clinton’s practice of supposedly emailing other State officials using her non-state.gov account was not an “appropriate method of preserving federal records or making them available for searches under FOIA.”
Second, it is both significant and disturbing that Hillary Clinton now asserts a private “claim of right” over her non-state.gov email account, including any of the 55,000 pages of federal records she returned to the State Department. She further claims that these and other emails, including emails that may have contained classified information, have “never been the property of or in the possession or control of the State Department.”
On July 8 Judicial Watch submitted a request for permission to depose Clinton; the Director of Office of Correspondence and Records of the Executive Secretariat (“S/ES-CRM”) Clarence Finney; and the former Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat (“S/ES-IRM”) John Bentel. The request arises in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit before U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
Soon after Judicial Watch submitted its request for further discovery, the court ordered the State Department and Mrs. Clinton to respond by today. Judicial Watch’s reply is due to the court on Thursday, July 14. A hearing is set for Monday, July 18, 2016.