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Another Embarrassment for Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton
A former State Department official's deposition in a FOIA lawsuit against the department wasn't good for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. (Reuters photo)

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Lewis Lukens' deposition in a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch wasn't good for Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations.

According to the government watchdog organization's president, Tom Fitton, the group is limited in what it can say about the depositions. But, he told The Daily Caller on Friday that it wasn't good for the Democratic presidential front-runner.

"The testimony was not helpful for Clinton or the State Department," he said.

Lukens, who served as executive director of the department's Executive Secretariat from 2008 to 2011, was subpoenaed to testify in the court case because of emails he sent to then-Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, who was the principal adviser on management issues—including technology and information services—and Clinton's chief of staff, Cheryl Mills. In them, he discussed setting up a computer for Clinton to check her personal email account.

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In one email sent in January of 2009, Lukens told Clinton's deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, he was trying to obtain Clinton a BlackBerry issued by the National Security Agency like the one issued to President Obama. He also set up an office "across the hall" for Clinton to check her personal email account, which he indicated had been requested by those above him.

He also recommended setting up a "stand-alone PC in the Secretary's office." The computer would be connected to the internet, but not to the State Department's secure connection—possibly as means to circumvent security protocols—that would "enable her to check her emails from her desk," he added.

Lukens' deposition is just the first of many U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan granted as part of the "discovery" process in Judicial Watch's lawsuit that seeks records about Abedin's controversial employment status. The lawsuit, which seeks records regarding the authorization for Abedin to engage in outside employment while employed by the federal government, was reopened when it was discovered Clinton had a private email account.

Mills will be the next. Her deposition is scheduled for next Friday. Then, the following figures in the case are slated for their own depositions:

  • June 3—Stephen D. Mull, executive secretary of the State Department from June 2009 to October 2012, who suggested that Clinton be issued a State Department BlackBerry, which would protect her identity and would also be subject to FOIA requests.
  • June 6—Bryan Pagliano, State Department Schedule C employee who has been reported to have serviced and maintained the server that hosted the "clintonemail.com" system during Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.
  • June 28—Huma Abedin, Clinton's deputy chief of staff and a senior adviser to Clinton throughout her four years as secretary of state and also had an email account on clintonemail.com.
  • June 29—Patrick F. Kennedy, undersecretary for management since 2007 and the secretary of state's principal adviser on management issues, including technology and information services.

This week, Judicial Watch also filed its discovery plan with U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth in another FOIA lawsuit concerning Clinton and the Benghazi terrorist attack. Lamberth had ordered Judicial Watch to follow up with his court within 10 days after Sullivan issued his discovery order.

"This court-order testimony could finally reveal new truths about how Hillary Clinton and the Obama State Department subverted the Freedom of the Information Act," Fitton said.

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