Former Top Clinton Aide Refuses to Answer Deposition Questions In FOIA Lawsuit
The deposition transcript of Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff at the State Department was released on Tuesday by the legal watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Cheryl Mills sat for her deposition last Friday to answer questions as part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch that seeks to determine whether the State Department acted in good faith in responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. Earlier this year, U.S. District Court Judge Emmett G. Sullivan granted Judicial Watch’s request to conduct depositions of several Clinton aides as part of a limited discovery process in the lawsuit. Mills deposition was video-recorded, however, Judge Sullivan granted her request to block the release of anything more than the written transcript of her testimony.
The deposition appeared contentious at times, with Judicial Watch lawyers arguing with Mills’ private attorney and State Department lawyers about the risk of coaching the witness through “speaking objections.” Mills’ attorney also instructed her to not answer several questions that her attorney felt were outside the admissible scope of discovery. Part of the trouble appeared to stem from Mills’ role as one of Clinton’s private attorneys that she retained for help in turning over e-mails after leaving the State Department.
“I’m representing Ms. Mills, as we know, and she represents Hillary Clinton as her personal lawyer,” Mills’ attorney Beth Wilkinson said, according to the transcript. “And you are now asking about work [Mills] has done for Hillary Clinton as her lawyer. And it is beyond the scope of the permissible discovery, and so I am instructing [Mills] not to answer.”
Mills’ attorney also instructed her to not answer several questions about former Clinton aide Brian Pagliano who received immunity earlier this year from the Justice Department in the FBI investigation into Clinton’s e-mail server. Pagliano is reportedly the individual who helped setup the clintonemail.com system and maintained the server. Earlier this month, the State Department said it was unable to locate any of Pagliano’s e-mails from his State Department e-mail account. When asked about Pagliano’s missing e-mails, Former DOJ FOIA Director Dan Metcalfe told LawNewz.com “the whole thing stinks to high heavens.”
LawNew.com reached out to Judicial Watch for comment about the Mills deposition and will update this article accordingly.