Washington: A federal judge has ordered questioning of Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton’s top aides about her secret email server.
Top Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl D. Mills will be deposed, as will Bryan Pagliano, who reportedly maintained the clintonemail.com server and Clinton’s email account tied to the secret system, The Washington Times reported.
Clinton herself could also have to answer questions in the open records case brought by conservative foundation, Judicial Watch, according to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s order issued on Wednesday.
“The circumstances surrounding approval of Clinton’s use of clintonemail.com for official government business, as well as the manner in which it was operated, are issues that need to be explored in discovery to enable the Court to resolve, as a matter of law, the adequacy of the State Department’s search of relevant records in response to Judicial Watch’s request,” Judge Sullivan wrote.
He gave Judicial Watch eight weeks to conduct the interviews, meaning they will be finished just weeks before Clinton hopes to accept the Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s national convention in Philadelphia in late July.
The emails have affected Clinton’s presidential campaign from the start and have damaged her standing among many voters, who question her honesty.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump openly speculated that Clinton will be indicted at the end of an FBI investigation into the server.
Clinton set up the server at her home in New York in 2009, soon after she became state secretary.
Her messages were erroneously shielded from disclosure for six years, until she belatedly returned some 30,000 to the department in December 2014.
Clinton said there were 30,000 other messages from her time in office that were strictly private and did not implicate her government activities. She declined to turn over those messages, saying the law gave her the obligation of deciding what was official and what was personal.