On Tuesday night, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, Noticiero Telemundo, and Noticiero Univision saw no reason to inform their viewers that a federal judge ruled hours earlier that State Department officials and aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can be questioned under oath about their knowledge and role in Clinton’s private e-mail scandal.
In a lawsuit concerning public records filed by Judicial Watch, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan sided with the advocacy group in a 2013 suit that originally concerned Huma Abedin’s employment status as both a public and private sector employee.
The CBS Evening News covered the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign but focused exclusively on the efforts by Clinton and socialist Senator Bernie Sanders to court backing from African-American voters by discussing criminal justice reform.
Meanwhile, NBC Nightly News failed to even go that far and ignored the Democratic side completely in favor of more time on the Republicans ahead of the late Tuesday night Nevada caucuses.
ABC’s World News Tonight broke ranks on this story and spent 50 seconds out of its one-minute-and-50-second Democratic campaign segment on the matter. Anchor David Muir described it all as “major developments” with “Clinton drawn back into her e-mail controversy.”
Reporting from South Carolina, Democratic campaign correspondent and Saturday anchor Cecilia Vega explained that while Clinton has been gunning for a win on Saturday in the Palmetto State, “a federal judge deliver[ed] a stark reminder to voters about that controversy still hanging over her campaign.”
“The judge ruling Clinton's top aides and State Department officials should testify under oath about their role in setting up the private e-mail server she used as secretary of state,” Vega added.
At the end of her segment, Muir asked Vega what the response from the Clinton campaign was and she responded that they’ve brushed it off as being nothing more than “right wing attacks.” Vega made no attempt to refute this notion despite the fact that Judge Sullivan was appointed to the federal bench by Clinton’s husband Bill Clinton.
Here’s more on the ruling from The Washington Post:
A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that State Department officials and top aides to Hillary Clinton should be questioned under oath about whether they intentionally thwarted federal open records laws by using or allowing the use of a private email server throughout Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington came in a lawsuit over public records brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group, regarding its May 2013 request for information about the employment arrangement of Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide.
Sullivan set an April 12 deadline for parties to litigate a detailed investigative plan--subject to court approval--that would reach well beyond the limited and carefully worded explanations of the use of the private server that department and Clinton officials have given.
The transcript of the segment from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on February 23 can be found below.
ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
February 23, 2016
6:39 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: 4 Days to S.C.; Breaking News; Aides to Testify]
DAVID MUIR: Now, to major developments on the Democratic side. Just four days until the South Carolina primary, and tonight, Hillary Clinton drawn back into her e-mail controversy. The new question: Will top aides now have to testify? The Clinton team's response, coming in right now and the question for senator Bernie Sanders tonight, is there still a path? Hillary Clinton with a nearly 30-point lead in South Carolina, and ABC's Cecilia Vega is there.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Clinton vs. Sanders; Email Issue Resurfaces Ahead of Key Races]
CECILIA VEGA: Tonight, as Hillary Clinton hopes for a big win in South Carolina, a federal judge delivering a stark reminder to voters about that controversy still hanging over her campaign. The judge ruling Clinton's top aides and State Department officials should testify under oath about their role in setting up the private e-mail server she used as secretary of state. Bernie Sanders on the trail today, too, trying for the win he needs to keep his campaign afloat. But when the crowd began to boo at the mention of Clinton's name —
INDEPENDENT SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (Vt.): My opponent, secretary Clinton and I have a strong disagreement — No. No, no, no. No.
VEGA: — Sanders wouldn't have it.
SANDERS: No. I respect Secretary Clinton, we can have differences.
VEGA: Sanders now setting his sights beyond south Carolina, to Super Tuesday, hoping for wins in Colorado, Minnesota, Massachusetts and his home state, Vermont. Clinton trying to cash in on her support among minority voters across the South, counting on victories in Arkansas, Texas, Georgia and Alabama.
MUIR: Alright, we'll see and Cecilia live tonight. The Clinton team responding to word that Clinton aides may now have to testify?
VEGA: David, Clinton's campaign manager said right-wing attacks are behind this court case. For her part, she is here in this church tonight, making her last-minute pitch to South Carolina voters. David?
MUIR: Cecilia Vega with us live again tonight. Cecilia, thank you.