Judge Forces Top Obama Officials to Answer Questions on Clinton Emails, Benghazi

‘One of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency…’

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Hillary Clinton/IMAGE: PBS NewsHour via Youtube

(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) In its ongoing efforts to cast daylight on the shady dealings of the Clintons, transparency advocate Judicial Watch has scored another win.

On Tuesday, a federal judge allowed its Freedom of Information case to proceed relating to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conceal state business during the Obama era.

In greenlighting the discovery phase of the case, which also focuses on the Benghazi cover-up, District Judge Royce C. Lamberth will compel top officials including former national security adviser Susan Rice and her deputy of communications, “echo chamber” architect Ben Rhodes, to respond to Judicial Watch questions.

Rhodes helped craft the notorious talking points that Rice used to mislead the public following the Sept. 11, 2012, assault on the U.S. Embassy in Libya, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

It was through Judicial Watch’s efforts to pursue transparency in the Benghazi case that Clinton’s private e-mail server initially was revealed in 2015. It ultimately became one of the defining issues of her candidacy for president and may have contributed largely—along with other character flaws—to her election loss.

Longtime Clinton adviser Jake Sullivan and former FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap will also be under the heat lamp. Additionally, several Clinton underlings involved in the creation and maintenance of the private email server are cleared for questioning by the order .

But if Clinton’s past responses to such depositions are any indication, they are unlikely to yield any great breakthroughs. Most of her answers involved either memory lapses or legal objections as to why she could not give a straight reply.

Lamberth previously had ordered the State and Justice departments to comply in the efforts to establish a discovery plan for the proceedings. In doing so, he expressed, in no uncertain terms, his disdain for the stonewalling and cover-up efforts afoot by the deep-state bureaucracy.

Lamberth called the scandal ““one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency,” and questioned “even now, whether they are acting in good faith.”

In a press release, Judicial Watch said it broadly hoped to use the depositions to learn:

  • Whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system;
  • whether the State Department’s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith; and
  • whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.

The preliminary discovery period will last 120 days, after which another hearing will determine if depositions of Clinton herself and her former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, are also warranted.

The lawsuit is one of many courtroom battles Judicial Watch has under litigation against Clinton and Obama officials.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton recently testified before the (then Republican-led) House of Representatives on the pay-to-play operations of the Clinton Foundation, which intermingled its supposed charity work with Hillary Clinton’s official secretary-of-State duties, as well as likely supplying a slush fund for her 2016 presidential campaign.