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FOIA News: Judicial Watch names Clinton aides to be deposed

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Judicial Watch names Clinton Aides to be deposed

By Mark Tapscott, The Libertarian Republic, Mar. 16, 2016

Eight present and past Department of State officials linked to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email scandal will be deposed by Judicial Watch in the non-profit government watchdog’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit if the federal judge hearing the case agrees.

Judicial Watch attorneys told U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Emmet G. Sullivan Tuesday it wants to depose the following individuals and could complete the depositions within two months of beginning:

  • Stephen D. Mull, executive secretary of the State Department from June, 2009, to October, 2012. Mull proposed Clinton use a State Department BlackBerry for email. Her identity would have been protected but the messages would have been subject to the FOIA.
  • Lewis A. Lukens, executive director of the department’s executive secretariat from 2008 to 2011. Lukens suggested to Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy and Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills that Clinton have a government computer to read messages sent to her address.
  • Patrick F. Kennedy preceded Clinton at the department, having served since 2007. He became Clinton’s primary adviser on technology and information services issues.
  • Donald R. Reid, senior coordinator for security infrastructure in the department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, a position he has held since 2003. Judicial Watch believes Reid participated in discussions in 2009 about Clinton’s use of the Blackberry and other communications devices to conduct official government business.
  • Cheryl Mills, chief of staff throughout Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
  • Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff for the entirety of Clinton’s tenure. Abedin also had an email account on the Clinton server and accompanied Clinton whenever she was seen in public.
  • Bryan Pagliano, Clinton’s IT guru from her unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign and the individual who kept the private server located at her New York residence operational while she was at the department.
  • The eighth individual would be somebody designed by the department to provide information on the process by which FOIA requests are processed in the agency.

Clinton’s deposition “may be necessary” but would only occur with the judge’s approval and would be “based on information learned during discovery.”

Sullivan granted Judicial Watch’s motion for discovery Feb. 23, 2016, and he is expected to announce his decision on the deposition plan after April 15.

Judicial Watch’s original FOIA request was filed six years ago and unsuccessfully sought information and documents concerning Abedin’s employment status. The litigation was reopened when Clinton’s use of the private server and email address to conduct official business became known in March, 2015.

“This discovery will help Judicial Watch get all of the facts behind Hillary Clinton’s and the Obama State Department’s thwarting of FOIA so that the public can be sure that all of the emails from her illicit email system are reviewed and released to the public as the law requires,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton.