Clinton lawyers: ‘No personal knowledge’ of emails beyond public info

Clinton lawyers: ‘No personal knowledge’ of emails beyond public info
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Lawyers for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP struggles with retirement wave Overnight Energy: Trump to revoke California's tailpipe waiver | Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback | Trump officials finalize rule allowing fewer inspectors at pork plants Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? MORE and the Obama administration filed separate motions Tuesday trying to block the former secretary of State from being deposed in an ongoing open records case about her emails.

In the first time that Clinton’s legal team has weighed in on an ongoing lawsuit connected to the private email setup, her lawyers claimed that Clinton “has no personal knowledge to provide” about the setup beyond already established evidence and testimony, such as findings by the House Select Committee on Benghazi and the FBI.

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Conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch “has not demonstrated a need to depose Secretary Clinton,” her lawyers added.

“The requested deposition, moreover, would be an exercise in futility,” Clinton’s lawyers claimed, since Clinton herself no longer is in control of her email server after handing it over to the FBI last year. As such, she would be unable to help accomplish the goal of handing over all of the emails she sent or received while in office.

Some of the questions that Judicial Watch has asked the court to pose to Clinton are “irrelevant” to the “narrow” license it has been granted to seek answers as part of the case, they maintained.

The filing from Clinton’s legal team, led by attorney David Kendall, is the first time that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has intervened personally in one of the several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits seeking information about her email server. The suit hinges on allegations that Clinton’s use of a private email server for State business violated the transparency law by shielding government records from the public. 

According to Comey, Clinton and her legal team deleted thousands of work-related messages from her server, believing they were personal. However, they did not willfully plan to hide the emails, he claimed.   

In a separate filing on Tuesday, Justice Department lawyers also argued that Judicial Watch has no reason to compel Clinton’s testimony in the open records case.

The group “has not revealed a shred of evidence indicating an intent to thwart FOIA,” federal lawyers claimed. “To the contrary, documents that might have been interpreted as reflecting a concern about FOIA have been shown, through sworn testimony, to have a much more innocuous explanation.”

“Plaintiff has an answer to the question it posed; it just does not like it,” they added. “Plaintiff’s dissatisfaction with the record that it has been able to create is not a valid reason to extend the limited discovery the court authorized.”

Discovery is the formal name for the evidence-gathering process that includes conducting depositions.

Judicial Watch asked for Clinton and two other State Department officials to be deposed last week after interviewing seven other State Department with some knowledge of the email setup.

Oral arguments on the motion are scheduled for Monday.