DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons image 16690863566_a1dae87e2f_o

Caricature by DonkeyHotey

You can run but you can’t hide.

Via the Washington Post:

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that State Department officials and top aides to Hillary Clinton should be questioned under oath about whether they intentionally thwarted federal open records laws by using or allowing the use of a private email server throughout Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington came in a lawsuit over public records brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group, regarding its May 2013 request for information about the employment arrangement of Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide.

This will not be interesting so much for what Hillary and her inner sanctum say, for I suspect the Fifth Amendment will cover that. But State Department personnel, like Clinton’s consigliere and fixer, Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, and the folks who manage State’s Information Technology program and its classified information program are going to be under a lot of pressure. Their testimony will inevitably end up in the hands of the FBI and if it does not comport with what the FBI has found they will, as little people, be prosecuted. Even if State provides them with legal counsel, and I doubt that can happen in a case where they are talking about their official duties, they would be utter morons to let an agency with a lot on the line act as their counsel.

According to my legal advisor, the great part about this is that to take the Fifth they actually have to state that they decline to answer the question on the grounds that it may incriminate them.

What makes it better is that Judge Sullivan seems to have lost his sense of humor about the matter:

In granting Judicial Watch’s request, Sullivan said that months of piecemeal revelations about Clinton and the State Department’s handling of the email controversy created “at least a ‘reasonable suspicion’ ” that public access to official government records under the federal Freedom of Information Act was undermined.

Sullivan noted that there was no dispute that senior State Department officials were aware of the email set-up from time Clinton took office, citing a January 2009 email exchange including Undersecretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, Clinton chief of staff Cheryl D. Mills and Abedin about establishing a “stand-alone network” email system.

Sullivan said the State Department’s inspector general last month faulted the department and Clinton’s office for overseeing processes that repeatedly allowed “inaccurate and incomplete” FOIA responses, including a May 2013 reply that found “no records” concerning email accounts Clinton used, even though dozens of senior officials had corresponded with her private account.

It is obvious that not only is Judicial Watch going after the email server issue in general, it is really hitting the public corruption angle involving Huma Abedin trading in privileged information for personal benefit, this is something, you recall, that the FBI is also intensely interested in.

In seeking records related to Abedin’s employment, Judicial Watch asked to be allowed to depose or submit written questions to current and former State Department employees and Clinton aides, including Kennedy; John F. Hackett, director of information services; Executive Secretary Joseph E. Macmanus; Clinton’s chief of staff, Mills; lawyer David E. Kendall; Abedin; and Bryan Pagliano, a Clinton staff member during her 2008 presidential campaign who helped set up the private server.

More broadly, the group’s motion targets who oversaw State Department information systems, Clinton’s transition and arrival at the department, her communications, and her and Abedin’s departure from the agency.

“What emails . . . were deleted . . . who decided to delete them, and when?” Judicial Watch asks in filings.

The group also asks whether any archived copies of sent or received emails on the private server existed, including correspondence with Clinton technology contractors Platte River Networks and Datto.

There is no chance this is settled by Election Day but this, combined with the FBI investigation and nearly weekly release of more classified emails, is going to be a millstone on Hillary’s campaign.

To fully appreciate the scope of the damage Hillary has done to national security, read the whole email saga.