US appeals court mulls whether Hillary Clinton must testify about email scandal
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June 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Former First Lady and failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is back in court, this time arguing that she should not be forced to give a deposition in the Obama-era scandal about her use of a private server for classified emails pertaining to her official business as then-U.S. Secretary of State.
In March, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth granted a request by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch to depose Clinton (along with her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills) on the matter. At issue is whether the setup was an innocent lapse in judgment, as she has claimed, or a deliberate attempt to flout federal Freedom of Information Act requests and cover up controversial material pertaining to her tenure, most notably her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
Clinton appealed the decision to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, a three-judge panel of which heard oral arguments last week, the Washington Examiner reported. Clinton’s attorneys contend that the “real purpose” of deposing the former Secretary of State is “harassment.”
“It is certainly within the authority of the district court to hear from the agency head herself about whether there was intent," argued Judicial Watch attorney Ramona Cotca, who alleges that Clinton’s intent was to “short-circuit this process by using the most potent weapon in the judicial arsenal to prevent the district court from ever being able to reach a determination of whether there was ever an adequate search.”
Specifically, Clinton’s attorneys have requested that the court issue a writ of mandamus, which would directly instruct Lamberth to reverse his March decision.
Two of the three judges considering the Clinton team’s request (one Democrat appointee and one Republican) reportedly expressed concern that granting it would be an “extraordinary” move. The third judge, Robert Wilkins (also an Obama appointee), appeared receptive to Judicial Watch’s case, asking, “Why wouldn’t it be relevant to depose Secretary Clinton or Ms. Mills to clarify who may have corresponded with either of them or in general about the Benghazi talking points?"
On Wednesday, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton criticized the Trump Justice Department for not taking a more active stance in the case beyond its initial statement that it did not support issuing a writ of mandamus.
Paraphrasing the DOJ’s stance as “we just want to get through these Clinton email cases, we just want to end them and keep it behind us,” Fitton lambasted the Department for not displaying “one wit of concern about the misconduct, about the accountability.”
“Why on earth would you allow your attorneys to come into court and basically dismiss the concerns of tens of millions of Americans about the misconduct of Hillary Clinton?” Fitton asked U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
Despite no longer holding or running for public office, Clinton remains an active voice in Democrat circles. In April, she told former Vice President and 2020 Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden that the COVID-19 outbreak “would be a terrible crisis to waste,” as it makes 2020 a “really high-stakes election” for (among other issues) “reproductive health care” (a euphemism for abortion).