State Department Seeks to Limit FBI Questioning in Lawsuit Over Clinton’s E-mails

US State Department Headquarters, Washington DC
US State Department Headquarters, Washington DC

Seven top State Department officials and aides to Hillary Clinton should not be questioned under oath about their handling of classified information on Clinton’s private email server as secretary of state or about pending FBI or inspector general investigations, the department said in a court filing late Tuesday.

The filing came in response to a plan by a conservative legal watchdog group to question current and former officials — including then-Undersecretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy and Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl D. Mills — to determine whether Clinton’s email arrangement thwarted federal open-records laws.

On Feb. 23, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered both sides to come up with a “narrowly tailored” plan in the Judicial Watch public records lawsuit. The State Department said Tuesday that it understood the order to mean that questioning be limited to “the reasons for the creation of [the] system.”

“State submits that the scope of discovery must be limited and specified at the outset to prevent questioning that exceeds the limited inquiry that the Court has authorized,” the department said in court papers.

Off-limits topics include the substance of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records concerning the employment status of Huma C. Abedin, then Mills’s deputy and now vice chairman of Clinton’s presidential campaign, as well as “the storage, handling, transmission, or protection of classified information, including cybersecurity issues; and questions about any pending investigations,” the department said.

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SOURCE: Spencer S. Hsu
The Washington Post