It seems former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been able to skirt accountability once again.
The Washington Examiner revealed Friday the news that a federal appeals court had overturned a lower court’s ruling that would have required Clinton to deliver a sworn deposition in an ongoing lawsuit against her from the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.
The suit, which revives complaints about Clinton’s allegedly nefarious misuse of a private email server while she served as secretary of State, also names Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills. The latest ruling, however, does not include Mills — meaning she could still be required to sit down for testimony, according to the Examiner.
Clinton claims victory
Clinton first got off scot-free in her infamous email scandal thanks in no small part to former FBI Director James Comey. Now, Judicial Watch is trying to ensure the first-lady-turned-politician is finally held to account — but on Friday, they hit a major roadblock.
According to the Examiner, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia “granted the 2016 Democratic nominee’s petition for a writ of mandamus” on Friday, overturning a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth that would have required Clinton “to answer Judicial Watch’s questions under oath.”
The watchdog group “had argued the depositions were necessary to understand whether Clinton attempted to avoid the Freedom of Information Act when she improperly used a private server to conduct her State Department business and to figure out whether the agency adequately searched for all her emails,” the Examiner reported.
But while Lamberth agreed in March, the appeals court didn’t buy that logic last week.
“The mere suspicion of bad faith on the part of the government cannot be used as a dragnet to authorize voluminous discovery that is irrelevant to the remaining issues in a case,” Judge Robert Wilkins wrote in the appeals court’s opinion on the case, according to the Examiner. The outlet noted that Wilkins was appointed by then-President Barack Obama.
As the Examiner reported, Wilkins added:
The District Court has impermissibly ballooned the scope of its inquiry into allegations of bad faith to encompass a continued probe of Secretary Clinton’s state of mind surrounding actions taken years before the at-issue searches were conducted by the State Department. Secretary Clinton has already answered interrogatories from Judicial Watch on these very questions in the case before Judge Sullivan, explaining the sole reason she used the private account was for convenience.
“A miscarriage of justice”
Judicial Watch, for its part, has called the decision “a miscarriage of justice” that “undermines the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).”
“In addition to today’s political decision, the Justice and State Departments’ continuing efforts to avoid getting to the bottom of Clinton’s email misconduct are a scandal,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a Friday statement. “President Trump should hold Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo and Attorney General [Bill] Barr accountable for their failures of leadership.”
In the meantime, the watchdog group isn’t backing down. According to the Examiner, Fitton said in an interview with the outlet Friday that Judicial Watch will continue to consider their options going forward.