A judge is sending Hillary Clinton through the ringer one more time over her use of a private email server while secretary of state, ordering the Democratic presidential nominee to respond to questions from a conservative legal foundation — likely in time for Election Day.
The order issued by a federal judge Friday stems from a 2013 request by Judicial Watch for employment records related to Clinton aide Huma Abedin that transformed into a request to depose the Democratic presidential nominee in the hopes of getting her to come clean about whether she tried to “deliberately thwart” federal records laws while using the home-brew server.
Although the D.C.-based judge denied the foundation’s request for a deposition — a win for Clinton — the order forces her to provide Judicial Watch with written answers to questions “surrounding the creation, purpose and use of the clintonemail.com server.”
And if Judicial Watch doesn’t drag its feet, those answers could be due before voters head to the polls in November.
The order gives the foundation until Oct. 14 to submit its inquiries to Clinton.
In turn, it gives Clinton 30 days to provide her answers.
A spokeswoman for Judicial Watch couldn’t say yesterday whether the timeline would result in another round of answers in time for Election Day.
“We are pleased that this federal court ordered Hillary Clinton to provide written answers under oath to some key questions about her email scandal,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
“We will move quickly to get these answers. The decision is a reminder that Hillary Clinton is not above the law.”
Judicial Watch lawyers outlined their questions in a July filing that sought to depose Clinton after its previous interviews with seven current and former State Department employees yielded little answers as to why she set up the server and whether the State Department conducted an adequate search of its records for the foundation’s Freedom of Information Act request.
“It was her system. She was the primary driving force behind it and was its principal user,” the lawyers wrote in their request for clarification.
“She chose to make exclusive use of the system for all of her official email communications and to allow one of her key aides, Ms. Abedin, to use the unofficial system for official communications as well.
“Without Secretary Clinton’s testimony, there can be no fair, rightful, and conclusive answer to the Court’s questions.”
But Clinton’s campaign dismissed the Judicial Watch lawsuit as just another political ploy.
“Judicial Watch is a right-wing organization that has been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s,” Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton, said.
“This is just another lawsuit intended to try to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”
Judicial Watch also was granted permission to depose John Bentel, the former State Department official responsible for Clinton’s information technology systems.
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