On Tuesday, a federal judge, who is apparently sick and tired of deep state shenanigans, ordered Obama lackeys Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes, along with former Secretary of State Clinton staffers Monica Hanley and Lauren Jiloty, and E.W. (Bill) Priestap, an FBI official who supervised the investigation into Clinton’s emails, to answer written questions in what appears to be an attempt to “hoodwink the court.”
The case involves a Freedom of Information Act request issued by Judicial Watch concerning the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya.
“The lawsuit by Judicial Watch – now with the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit – was first filed in 2014 in an effort to obtain records related to Clinton and her staff’s response to the Benghazi attack.
“Specifically, the group sought documents about Rice’s explanation immediately after the attack on the U.S. compound that characterized it as a protest turned violent instead of a deliberate terrorist assault. At the time of the attack, Rice was serving as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.”
However, the case has “expanded to question the motives behind Clinton’s private email use while Secretary and behind the government’s conduct in this litigation,” Lamberth wrote.
The judge seems quite fed up Department of State cover ups.
Judicial Watch argues that Clinton intentionally used her private email server in an attempt to shield her communications from FOIA requests, and that the State Department acted deceptively and did not really try to complete the request, for years.
Lamberth ruled that JW can question the State Department on the development of Rice’s “talking points” for her media appearances, the “advance dissemination or discussion of those talking points,” the “aftermath of Rice’s appearances” and State Department officials’ “evolving understanding of the Benghazi attack.”
“Rice’s talking points and State’s understanding of the attack play an unavoidably central role in this case,” he argued, and the judge added that those issues could uncover “unsearched, relevant records” and “shed light on Clinton’s motives for shielding her emails from FOIA requesters.”
Lamberth said Judicial Watch can’t “appoint itself as a freelance Inspector General” and conduct its own investigation into the Benghazi lie, “But that’s not what Judicial Watch does here,” he wrote.
“Though Judicial Watch cannot helm a fishing expedition trawling anything and everything concerning the Benghazi attack,” under the law, the group has the right to ask questions concerning the cover up of communications concerning the incident that killed four American patriots.
During appearances on Sunday morning talk shows after the Benghazi attack, Rice claimed that information ‘available’ indicated the terror attack was a “spontaneous reaction” and a “copycat” of a protest against the U.S. embassy in Cairo.
However, according to a number of people, that was a lie.
The lawsuit is looking to prove that Rice, Clinton and other government officials intentionally deceived the public about the nature of the attack, which they knew was perpetrated by terrorists.
Obama administration officials attributed the initial “confusion” about the cause of the attack to the “fog of war.”
Lamberth previously ruled that JW could probe the illegal server use as well.
In that ruling, he said the case involved “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency” and that he had doubts the State Department was acting in “good faith” to grant Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.
Lamberth said State Department “officials already knew Clinton’s emails were missing from its records,” despite the fact that the illegal action was exposed six months after the initial case was filed.
“State played this card close to its chest,” Lamberth wrote. “At best, State’s attempt to pass-off its deficient search as legally adequate during settlement negotiations was negligence born out of incompetence. At worst career employees in the State and Justice Departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this Court.”
He said the Justice Department under the Trump administration “made things worse,” and that DOJ lawyers’ claims that the officials didn’t know the emails were missing “strain credulity.”
“Did the Department merely fear what might be found? Or was State’s bungling just the unfortunate result of bureaucratic red tape and a failure to communicate?” Lamberth wondered.
“To preserve the Department’s integrity, and to reassure the American people their government remains committed to transparency and the rule of law, this suspicion cannot be allowed to fester,” the judge wrote.
Lamberth approved deposition of eight officials who worked at the State Department under Clinton, “as well as the Clinton Foundation employee who set up Clinton’s private server, and officials from the Office of Information Program and Services who worked on the case.”
The judge gave the parties 120 days to complete the discovery phase of the case. After that, he will determine “the adequacy of State’s searches” and if Judicial Watch needs to depose more witnesses, “including Hillary Clinton.”