Hillary Clinton might have thought that 2016 brought an end to her email scandal along with her presidential ambitions, but a federal judge this week disabused her of that notion. Ruling in response to a lawsuit from conservative group Judicial Watch, Judge Emmet Sullivan said that Clinton needed to respond to additional questions about her email server…and she needed to do so under oath. Clinton now has 30 days to respond to questions about how she set up the private server and whether or not the State Department issued any official instructions or order about the use of that server.
“A federal court ordered Hillary Clinton to answer more questions about her illicit email system – which is good news,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a news release. “It is shameful that Judicial Watch attorneys must continue to battle the State and Justice Departments, which still defend Hillary Clinton, for basic answers to our questions about Clinton’s email misconduct.”
The Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from Judicial Watch has been roiling for nearly two years at this point. Fitton and his group has been asking the court for this judgement since the beginning of the lawsuit, at which time Clinton refused to answer 20 of the 25 questions presented to her from the watchdog group. Among the questions Clinton passed on: Why did she continue to use the server after receiving specific security warnings from the State Department? Now, under court order, she will be forced to answer those questions under oath.
The Judicial Watch lawsuit, however, may not be the only thing Clinton has to worry about.
In an interview with CNN this week, Sen. Lindsey Graham – widely expected to become the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee – said that he definitely foresees further investigation into the FBI’s handling of the email scandal.
“Totally,” Graham said when asked if he would investigate the FBI’s procedure during the case. “The oversight function will be very much front and center.”
All of this could interfere with any plans Clinton might have for a third run at the presidency. While the former secretary of State has said repeatedly that she has no interest in running, she sparked renewed curiosity last month when she told an interviewer from ReCode that she still “wants to be president.”
“There’s going to be so much work to be done,” Clinton said. “It would be work that I feel very well prepared for, having been in the Senate for eight years, and having been a diplomat in the State Department.”
But an intensified investigation into her email scandal may remind Americans that most of Clinton’s so-called preparedness for the White House came in the form of lying to the public, skirting sensitive national security rules for her own convenience, and relying on her gender to grab popularity she did not rightfully attain on her own.
She didn’t have enough in the tank to overcome her downside last time; we strongly doubt that Trump vs. Hillary II would turn out any differently.