The appeal court rules that the former Secretary of State cannot be deposed over use of her private email server which she conducted at the White House.
Hilary Clinton was accused of using personal email addresses connected to a privately owned server, rather than a government email, during her four years as President Barack Obama’s first-term secretary of state.
A federal judge earlier this year said Clinton must appear for a deposition, but the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed that decision Friday.
“The district court has impermissibly ballooned the scope of its inquiry into allegations of bad faith to encompass a continued probe of Secretary Clinton’s state of mind surrounding actions taken years before the at-issue searches were conducted by the State Department,” the court found.
President Trump had once said to Hilary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential election head to head that if he had his way she’d ‘be in jail’ in possible reference to her misuse of emails.
Clinton is reported to have deleted up to 600,000 emails and is also reported to have destroyed her computer with a hammer.
Her emails were already investigated by Congress, the State Department inspector general and the FBI, and she previously gave written answers in another lawsuit, the appeals court noted.
“The District Court has impermissibly ballooned the scope of its inquiry into allegations of bad faith to encompass a continued probe of Secretary Clinton’s state of mind surrounding actions taken years before the at-issue searches were conducted by the State Department,” the appeals court wrote in an opinion issued Friday.
“Secretary Clinton has already answered interrogatories from Judicial Watch on these very questions … explaining the sole reason she used the private account was for ‘convenience.'”
The court added: “But more importantly, even if a deposition of Secretary Clinton were to somehow shake some novel explanation loose after all these years, this new information simply would have no effect on the rights of the parties in this FOIA case, making it ‘an inappropriate avenue for additional discovery.”
A group called Judicial Watch had hoped to bring justice to Clinton and pleaded to the court to go over every single email.
“We’re disappointed by the decision and considering our options,” Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, said in a statement Friday.
In a separate statement, he characterized the decision as “political” and said that it is “contrary to longstanding precedent and undermines the Freedom of Information Act.”
Clinton’s attorney David Kendall, when asked to comment on the ruling, told media outlets in an email, “The Court’s opinion speaks for itself.”
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