In a remarkable turnaround, Hillary Clinton will have to testify after all on the email scandal. Clinton has never been subject to true examination on the issue under oath. Instead, she was allowed to meet with investigators shortly before being cleared during the Obama Administration. D.C. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that her prior answers were insufficient and cursory. One interesting twist is that she will not be able claim the privilege against self-incrimination on the original alleged offenses since the statute of limitations has passed. While she would have been unlikely to do so, she would have evoked on a crime that could be prosecuted. Ironically, it will be the Trump Administration that will have to defend her in opposing such demands since they are handling the litigation as it relates to her prior public service as Secretary of State.
This surprising order follows the disclosure by watchdog group Judicial Watch last December that the FBI released “approximately thirty previously undisclosed Clinton emails.” Judicial Watch has argued that the State Department “failed to fully explain” where they came from. Lamberth decided that Clinton has not answered the troubling questions related to her email system:
“As extensive as the existing record is, it does not sufficiently explain Secretary Clinton’s state of mind when she decided it would be an acceptable practice to set up and use a private server to conduct State Department business. The court believes those responses were either incomplete, unhelpful, or cursory at best. Simply put, her responses left many more questions than answers.”
While I expect that Clinton will have a lot of “I do not recall” answers given the passage of time, such examinations come at a risk of false statements under oath. Moreover, Judicial Watch can refresh her money with documents. As a lawyer, Clinton knows the risks and what to expect. However, it is astonish that, after all of these years, Clinton will finally be asked to answer questions under oath on the scandal.
Here is the order: Lamberth Order and Decision