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Clinton Seeks to Avoid Deposition on Email Server

Lawyers say case record already answers watchdog group's questions

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addressed the convention via video. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addressed the convention via video. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Hillary Clinton jumped into a public records lawsuit on Tuesday to try to avoid a deposition about a private email system she used while secretary of state that was at the center of a just-concluded criminal investigation.  

Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group, has filed a motion arguing that it needs to depose the presumptive Democratic nominee for president to answer six questions. The legal group has been pursuing a lawsuit that seeks records from Clinton’s email.   

Lawyers for Clinton filed a 25-page opposition to that motion Tuesday, stating that the record in the case already answers those questions or makes clear that she has no personal knowledge to provide.  

While the FBI concluded that Clinton did not intend to conceal records from the public, the agency’s director, James B. Comey, testified about the investigation this month, Clinton’s lawyers wrote. Clinton also testified publicly before Congress in October.  

“The ostensible purpose of the requested discovery is to determine whether this court should compel Secretary Clinton to produce her account (including any personal e-mail) from her private e-mail server equipment to the State Department for further searching in response to Judicial Watch’s (public records) request,” Clinton’s lawyers wrote. “Even if this court had authority to issue such unprecedented relief, Secretary Clinton has nothing to produce, as the server equipment used to host her account is in possession of the FBI.”  

Judicial Watch has deposed seven current and former State Department employees in the lawsuit. A judge is set to make a decision on whether Clinton must testify at a later date.  

The filing coincides with continued scrutiny of Clinton’s email system, including on Capitol Hill. House Republicans formally asked federal prosecutors on Monday to investigate whether she lied to Congress about classified information on the email server. Attorney General Loretta Lynch deflected questions about her decision to not prosecute Clinton during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.

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