“Four-plus years after the James Comey-led FBI chose not to file charges against Hillary Clinton, despite evidence she transmitted classified information on an insecure email server, a federal appeals court Friday gave the former secretary of state another legal pass in the case.
A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a writ of mandamus requested by Clinton’s lawyers overturning a judge’s order that she submit to a sworn deposition in a Freedom of Information Act case brought by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.
The court ruled that U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth erred in ordering the deposition in the first place.
“Discovery in FOIA cases is not a punishment, and the district court has no basis to order further inquiry into Secretary Clinton’s state of mind,” the appeals court ruled.
Judicial Watch had sought to secure the deposition to explore whether Clinton’s use of the private server to transmit government documents was an effort to evade the legal requirements of the FOIA law.
The group said Friday afternoon it is reviewing whether to appeal.
Judicial Watch Issues Statement on Appeals Court Decision Blocking Hillary Clinton Testimony
Today I made the following statement about the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit regarding the request of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s and her former Chief of Staff, Chery Mills to avoid testifying under oath about Clinton’s emails. The court granted Clinton’s request to avoid testimony but denied Mills’.
Today’s extraordinary Appeals Court decision protecting Hillary Clinton from having to obey a court order requiring her to testify about her emails is contrary to longstanding precedent and undermines the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The opinion’s deviation from a long line of earlier mandamus cases creates the appearance of favoritism towards Clinton and undermines the public’s confidence in the fair administration of justice. One need only contrast the DC Circuit’s agony over granting General Flynn mandamus relief with the unprecedented mandamus relief so easily given to Clinton.
As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton hid her government emails, then stole them when she left office. Her lawyers unilaterally determined what would be returned later. The State Department knew this occurred but tried to game a federal trial court into shutting down Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit before Clinton’s scheme became public. In response, the trial court rightly ordered Clinton to testify about the reasons for her actions and their impact on the public’s right to know. That this was too much for the DC Circuit is a miscarriage of justice.
In addition to today’s political decision, the Justice and State Departments’ continuing efforts to avoid getting to the bottom of Clinton’s email misconduct are a scandal. President Trump should hold Secretary Pompeo and Attorney General Barr accountable for their failures of leadership.” (Judicial Watch, 8/14/2020)