A conservative watchdog group asked a federal judge on Tuesday for permission to depose eight current and former State Department officials about Hillary Clinton’s emails and says it may eventually need to interview the former secretary of state herself.
Judicial Watch filed a plan for a “narrowly tailored discovery” as part of its lawsuit against the State Department for failing to turn over records it requested in 2013.
The group is asking U.S. District Court judge Emmet Sullivan for permission to depose key State Department official who likely have detailed knowledge about Clinton’s off-the-books email system, which involved the use of a home-brew server.
And “based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary,” Judicial Watch wrote in its court filing.
Judicial Watch is seeking testimony from two of Clinton’s closest aides, her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and her deputy, Huma Abedin. Both used personal email accounts while at the State Department. Abedin, who serves as vice chair of Clinton’s presidential campaign, also used an email address hosted on Clinton’s email server.
The watchdog also wants to interview Bryan Pagliano, the former State Department IT specialist who managed Clinton’s server. Pagliano recently accepted immunity in exchange for his cooperation with the FBI’s investigation into the mishandling of classified information on Clinton’s server.
Judicial Watch also wants to talk to four high-ranking State Department officials who may have knowledge about Clinton’s email arrangement. The list includes under secretary for management Patrick Kennedy, former Executive Secretary Stephen Mull, former executive director of the Executive Secretariat Lewis Lukens and Donald Reid, the senior coordinator for security infrastructure at the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Kennedy oversees all management, infrastructure, personnel, and technology issues at the State Department. While the career diplomat exchanged emails with Clinton on her personal email address, he has reportedly told the State Department that he did not know Clinton was using an email server.
Despite that claim, The Daily Caller received an email through its own lawsuit against the State Department showing that Kennedy was on an Aug. 30, 2011 email chain with Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills in which Clinton’s server was being discussed.
Mull was the sender of that email. In it, he suggested providing Clinton with a second BlackBerry equipped with a State.gov email account. He noted that the account would mask Clinton’s identity but that it would be subject to FOIA requests.
Abedin shot down the idea, the email chain shows.
Lukens and Reid were involved in email chains in which Clinton’s computer system and BlackBerry were being discussed.
Judicial Watch also asked Sullivan for permission to submit a list of questions to the State Department pertaining to its polices regarding Freedom of Information Act requests. It seeks to find out who was responsible for processing FOIA requests for Clinton’s emails and other records.