Clin­ton must an­swer to le­gal group

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NATION & WORLD -

A fed­eral judge Fri­day or­dered Hil­lary Clin­ton to an­swer ques­tions in writ­ing from a con­ser­va­tive le­gal ad­vo­cacy group about her use of a pri­vate email server dur­ing her ten­ure as sec­re­tary of state.

U.S. District Court Judge Em­met G. Sul­li­van is­sued the or­der as part of a long-run­ning pub­lic-records law­suit filed by Ju­di­cial Watch. The judge’s de­ci­sion is only a par­tial vic­tory for the group, which had sought to ques­tion the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee in per­son and un­der oath.

The judge said Ju­di­cial Watch must sub­mit its ques­tions to Clin­ton by Oct. 14 and gave Clin­ton 30 days to re­spond — a timetable that could push her an­swers past the Novem­ber pres­i­den­tial elec­tion un­less Ju­di­cial Watch sends its ques­tions ear­lier than mid-Oc­to­ber.

Ju­di­cial Watch is among sev­eral groups, in­clud­ing the As­so­ci­ated Press, that have sued the State Depart­ment over ac­cess to gov­ern­ment records from Clin­ton’s ten­ure as the na­tion’s top diplo­mat be­tween 2009 and 2013.

Repub­li­cans are press­ing to keep the is­sue of Clin­ton’s email use alive af­ter the FBI closed its in­ves­ti­ga­tion last month with­out rec­om­mend­ing crim­i­nal charges.

In a sep­a­rate devel­op­ment Fri­day, for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Colin Pow­ell said he once sent Clin­ton a memo tout­ing his use of a per­sonal email ac­count for work-re­lated mes­sages af­ter she took over at the State Depart­ment in 2009.

In a state­ment, Pow­ell said he emailed Clin­ton de­scrib­ing his use of a per­sonal AOL ac­count for un­clas­si­fied mes­sages while lead­ing the State Depart­ment un­der Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush. Pow­ell, a Repub­li­can, said he told Clin­ton his use of per­sonal email “vastly im­proved” com­mu­ni­ca­tions within the depart­ment, which at the time did not have an equiv­a­lent in­ter­nal sys­tem.

Pow­ell said the FBI may have ob­tained a copy of his memo to Clin­ton dur­ing its year­long in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Clin­ton’s use of a pri­vate email server to han­dle sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion dur­ing her time as sec­re­tary. Pow­ell said he used a se­cure com­puter on his desk at the State Depart­ment to man­age clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion.

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