Federal judge Royce C. Lamberth has ordered former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes to answer written questions pertaining to the State Department’s response to the Benghazi terror attack in 2012.
The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, seeking emails related to the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound that resulted in the deaths of four Americans.
While the judge denied the group’s request to have Rice and Rhodes sit for depositions, he did grant them the opportunity to present written questions that the pair must answer.
He also agreed that other Clinton aides can now be deposed under oath over the infamous Benghazi talking point that the terror attack was the result of a YouTube video, something Rice herself conveyed time and again to the American people long after they knew it was not true.
“Rice’s talking points and State’s understanding of the attack play an unavoidably central role in this case,” Lamberth wrote in his 16-page order.
“Information about the points’ development and content, as well as their discussion and dissemination before and after Rice’s appearances could reveal unsearched, relevant records; State’s role in the points’ content and development could shed light on Clinton’s motives for shielding her emails from FOIA requesters or on State’s reluctance to search her emails.”
Last month, Lamberth slammed the State and Justice departments under Barack Obama for their response (or lack thereof) to inquiries made about Clinton’s private email server.
He referred to Clinton’s use of the server to avoid public scrutiny of her activities as Secretary of State as “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency” and said the subsequent responses from the State and Justice Departments “smack(s) of outrageous misconduct.”
“At worst, career employees in the State and Justice departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this court,” Lamberth wrote.
Prior to that, the judge accused officials of lying and signing “clearly false” affidavits in an attempt to prevent watchdog groups from attaining information on Clinton’s server.
He noted certain elements of the department’s attempts to derail the case had left him “shocked” and “dumbfounded.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called Lamberth’s ruling “a major victory for accountability.”
“Judge Lamberth today authorized Judicial Watch to take discovery on whether the Clinton email system evaded FOIA and whether the Benghazi scandal was one reason for keeping Mrs. Clinton’s email secret,” Fitton said.
“Next up, we will begin questioning key witnesses under oath.”
It seems as though, as Charlie Daniels reminds us on a daily basis, “Benghazi ain’t going away” anytime soon. Nor should it.
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