State aide 'can't recall' why he floated official email account for Clinton

State aide 'can't recall' why he floated official email account for Clinton
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A conservative legal watchdog on Monday released the transcript from a roughly three-hour deposition with a senior State Department aide about Hillary Clinton’s private email server. 

The interview with Stephen Mull is the third conducted as part of an open records lawsuit from Judicial Watch related to the former secretary of State’s controversial email setup. The deposition was recorded at the Justice Department last Friday.

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Mull provided few new details about the Clinton’s email arrangement or the department’s record-keeping practices and repeatedly insisted that he could not recall various aspects of the setup.

In particular, Mull testified that he had no memory of what led him to write a 2011 email proposing Clinton use a State Department email account on one of two department-issued BlackBerry devices.   

“I don't recall why, no,” he said.

“I don't recall the circumstances that led me to — to write that.”

In the 2011 email, Mull noted that the government email account would “mask her identity” but “would also be subject to FOIA requests,” referring to the Freedom of Information Act that can be used to obtain government records.

“I can't recall the circumstances that led me to write this,” he said in the deposition Friday. “But I do speculate it would have been to ensure that it was clear that Secretary Clinton's name would not appear on the State Department's directory.”

The 2011 proposal was ultimately abandoned.

At the time, longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin told Mull that a BlackBerry using a state dot gov email account “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

In previous weeks, Judicial Watch lawyers have interviewed former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills and department veteran Lewis Lukens. 

A fourth official, IT expert Bryan Pagliano, was originally scheduled to be deposed on Monday, but a federal judge delayed the interview after Pagliano’s lawyers announced that he was planning to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Mull, the former executive secretary of the State Department, is now the Obama administration’s lead coordinator of implementation for the nuclear deal with Iran.

Updated at 6:24 p.m.