Remarks by Hillary Clinton about her use of a private email server she made during last Sunday's edition of CBS's 60 Minutes program have now come back to haunt her as the Judicial Watch organization has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Democratic presidential candidate.
According to an article by Rachel Stockman at LawNewz.com (part of the Mediaite set of websites), the conservative watchdog group “has been seeking to depose Clinton” on the subject in order to find out if any Freedom of Information Act laws were violated.
“Judicial Watch says new information was gleaned from the interview with CBS’s Scott Pelley, including the fact that Clinton admitted someone recommended she set up the server,” Stockman reported.
“The group wants to know who that someone was and contends her statement provides further reasoning for why she must be deposed under oath,” she added.
During the interview, Pelley asked Clinton: “Do you think you blew it on the emails?”
“Oh, I’ve said I did,” the Democratic presidential candidate replied. “Absolutely. I made a mistake. I should have had two accounts; one for personal and one for office. And I didn’t, and I take responsibility for that.”
“Why did you do that, have the private email servers?” the CBS newsman continued.
Clinton replied by noting:
You know, Scott, other people did have -- other secretaries of state, other high-ranking members of the administrations, plural.
And it was recommended that it would be convenient, and I thought it would be. It's turned out to be anything but.
“Would there be a private email server in the White House?” Pelley asked if the Democratic presidential candidate wins the November 8 election.
“I'll tell you one thing: That is one lesson I have learned the hard way, and there will not be any such thing in the White House,” Clinton replied.
“Although, I am quick to add, there's no evidence that it was ever hacked,” she stated. “And unfortunately, you can't say that for a lot of the government.”
However, attorneys for Judicial Watch wrote in a motion: “If the State Department official, such as the executive secretary or the legal advisor, recommended that Secretary Clinton use a non-state.gov system for State Department business, such evidence could demonstrate the State Department’s role in the decision.”
“Similarly, if someone who understood the secretary’s FOIA obligations recommended Secretary Clinton’s use of the system, such evidence could suggest that the motivation was more than just convenience,” the lawyers noted.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s lawyers say that issue is “irrelevant.”
Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, has already fired back in his own motion,” Stockman stated.
“Judicial Watch claims to want to know who recommended that using private email would be convenient,” Kendall noted.
“As counsel to Secretary Clinton has previously explained, however, Judicial Watch is not entitled to FOIA discovery, let alone a deposition of a former Cabinet Secretary, merely to satisfy curiosity,” he added.
Pelley continued his interview by noting: “I was speaking to a young African-American man just the other day in a Democratic state. And he said, and I'll quote: 'You know, I guess I would vote for Hillary except for that corruption problem.'”
“As I talked to him further, he didn't quite know what he meant by that. But that was his impression and concern,” the host continued. “Why do you think people say that about you?”
“Well first, I will take responsibility for any impression or anything I've ever done that people have legitimate questions about,” Clinton responded.
“But I think that it's fair to say there's been a concerted effort to convince people like that young man of something, nobody's quite sure what, but of something. I often feel like there's the Hillary standard and then there's the standard for everybody else.”
“What's the Hillary standard?” Pelley asked.
Clinton stumbled in her reply:
Well, it-- it is -- you know, a lot of as you at the Republican convention -- unfounded, inaccurate, mean-spirited attacks with no basis in truth -- reality, which take on a life of their own. And for whatever reasons, and I don't want to try to analyze the reasons.
I see it. I understand it. People are very willing to say things about me, to make accusations about me that are -- I don't get upset about them anymore, but they are very regrettable.
The anchor then inquired: “Why do you put yourself through it?”
“'Cause I really believe in this country,” she noted. “And boy, do I believe in it now more than ever after seeing what was presented last week. I believe that we are better than what we are hearing in the political discourse. I believe we can work together. “
Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan will soon decide whether Judicial Watch will be able to depose Clinton.