Federal Judge Lamberth has run out of patience with the State Department and ordered discovery to begin immediately and has also ordered that both Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes must answer all the written questions submitted to them by Judicial Watch and they must do so under oath and threat of perjury.
This is very dangerous for both Rice and Rhodes because they have no idea how much Judicial Watch knows. By telling the whole truth, they could give JW information they don’t currently have, but if they lie about something JW has proof of, it’s perjury.
Via Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch announced today that United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers and Clinton aides will now be deposed under oath. Senior officials, including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap, will now have to answer Judicial Watch’s written questions under oath. The court rejected the DOJ and State Department’s objections to Judicial Watch’s court-ordered discovery plan. (The court, in ordering a discovery plan last month, ruledthat the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)
Judicial Watch’s discovery will seek answers to:
- 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.
Discovery is scheduled to be completed within 120 days. The court will hold a post-discovery hearing to determine if Judicial Watch may also depose additional witnesses, including Clinton and her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.
Judge Lamberth ordered written responses under oath to Judicial Watch’s questions from Obama administration senior officials Rice, Rhodes and Sullivan, and former FBI official Priestap. Rice and Rhodes will answer interrogatories under oath on the Benghazi scandal. Rejecting the State and Justice Department objections to discovery on the infamous Benghazi talking points, Judge Lamberth reiterated:
Yet Rice’s talking points and State’s understanding of the attack play an unavoidably central role in this case: information about the points’ development and content, as well as their discussion and dissemination before and after Rice’s appearances could reveal unsearched, relevant records; State’s role in the points’ content and development could shed light on Clinton’s motives for shielding her emails from FOIA requesters or on State’s reluctance to search her emails.
Judicial Watch also may serve interrogatories on Monica Hanley, a former staff member in the State Department’s Office of the Secretary, and on Lauren Jiloty, Clinton’s former special assistant.