Judge rules Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes must answer watchdog’s questions on Clinton email server, Benghazi

Judge rules Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes must answer watchdog’s questions on Clinton email server, Benghazi

Former Obama administration officials must answer written questions under oath about the 2012 Benghazi terror attacks in Libya as part of a court-ordered discovery related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized email server, conservative watchdog Judicial Watch announced Tuesday.

Despite objections from the Justice Department and State Department, United States District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that discovery could commence examining Clinton’s use of the server. As a result, a group of nearly 10 top State Department and White House officials during the Obama administration will be deposed under oath as Judicial Watch seeks to uncover whether the 2012 Benghazi terror attacks in Libya was a factor in “keeping Mrs. Clinton’s email secret.”

“In a major victory for accountability, Judge Lamberth today authorized Judicial Watch to take discovery on whether the Clinton email system evaded FOIA and whether the Benghazi scandal was one reason for keeping Mrs. Clinton’s email secret,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Today, Judicial Watch issued document requests and other discovery to the State Department about the Clinton email scandal. Next up, we will begin questioning key witnesses under oath.”

Former national security adviser Susan Rice and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes are among those ex-officials required to answer questions related to the fallout of the Benghazi terror attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. The questions will touch on Rice’s talking points that inaccurately described the terror attack as a “spontaneous” protest against an “anti-Islamic” video that had surfaced on the Internet.

Although the Justice Department and the State Department pushed back that the talking points shouldn’t be part of the discovery, Lamberth said Rice’s comments and the State Department’s knowledge of the terrorist 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.”

The discovery period will conclude in 120 days, and Judicial Watch said that a post-discovery hearing will be held afterwards to determine whether Judicial Watch can depose Clinton, her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and others.


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