Judge Rules Hillary Must Answer Judicial Watch's Email Questions

A federal judge has ordered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to answer written questions posed by a conservative watchdog group about her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued the order as part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch.

FBI Director James Comey announced last month that the agency would not seek criminal charges against Clinton after an investigation into her email use, although he concluded she been "extremely careless" in her handling of sensitive material.

"We are pleased that this federal court ordered Hillary Clinton to provide written answers under oath to some key questions about her email scandal", he said. "We will move quickly to get these answers".

Powell, a retired army general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he used a secure computer on his desk at the State Department to manage classified information. In a statement provided to the AP, Powell said he emailed Clinton describing his use of a personal AOL account for unclassified messages while leading the State Department under President George W. Bush.

Video: Hillary Clinton: Would You Vote For Her?

Honesty: Remember back when Hillary Clinton insisted that she chose to use a private email account for all her emails for convenience, because she only wanted to carry around one device?

Judge Emmet Sullivan's ruling in U.S. District Court in Washington is likely to be a relief to Democrats, who did not welcome the prospect of Clinton having to submit to hours of questioning by lawyers in the middle of her campaign for the November 8 election against Republican Party nominee Donald Trump. In addition to requiring her testimony in writing, the judge allowed the group to depose a senior State Department aide who had warned two subordinates not to question her email practices. That means she will not have to sit in a lengthy deposition and answer questions from lawyers during the campaign.

Sullivan's ruling opened another front in a fight Clinton's campaign certainly hoped to put behind her.

They had asked for a three-hour window to question her, less than the seven hours they were given to question several current and former State Department officials last month.

Clinton's campaign responded to Sullivan's ruling with an attack on Judicial Watch.

Clinton, however, purposely bypassed State Department rules and security procedures so she could have more control over her own emails and dodge Freedom of Information Act requests. It was not immediately clear whether Powell's email to Clinton was among the documents from its case file shared earlier this with select congressional committees at the request of House Republicans.

Sullivan granted Judicial Watch discovery for the goal of finding out the reason for "the creation and operation of the clintonemail.com system for State Department business".

  • Joey Payne