Watchdog Group Requests Testimony From Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills in Clinton Email Case

May seek deposition from Clinton in the future

Huma Abedin / AP
• March 16, 2016 5:00 am


A watchdog group asked a federal judge on Tuesday to order court testimony from Hillary Clinton’s aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills about Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Judicial Watch, which has been suing the State Department for public records from Clinton’s time as secretary of state, is also asking to depose State Department senior administrator Patrick Kennedy, technical aide Bryan Pagliano, and three other department officials.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan said last month that Judicial Watch could seek outside testimony and documents to help the court determine if Clinton’s use of a private email server was a deliberate effort to evade public records laws.

Although Judicial Watch has not asked to depose Clinton, it indicated that it might do so at a later date.

"Based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary," the group said in its discovery plan filed on Tuesday. "If Plaintiff believes Mrs. Clinton’s testimony is required, it will request permission from the Court at the appropriate time."

Judicial Watch said it would question Clinton’s aides about the creation and maintenance of her private email system, whether there were any inquiries about her use of the private server at the State Department, and how officials responded to these inquiries.

The group said it would also ask about "any instructions or directions given to State Department officials and employees about communicating with Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin via email" and "the inventorying or other accounting of Mrs. Clinton’s and Ms. Abedin’s email upon their departure from the State Department."

Judicial Watch is asking the State Department to identify the employees involved in processing public records requests for Clinton’s emails and archiving her correspondence.

"This discovery will help Judicial Watch get all of the facts behind Hillary Clinton’s and the Obama State Department’s thwarting of FOIA so that the public can be sure that all of the emails from her illicit email system are reviewed and released to the public as the law requires," Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, said in a statement.

The witness list and discovery plan will need to be approved by Judge Sullivan before Judicial Watch can proceed. The watchdog group said on Tuesday that it hopes to begin depositions by May.