Lawyers for Hillary Clinton are going to federal court for the first time to block efforts to force her to testify in a civil lawsuit related to her private email set-up.
Clinton’s attorneys submitted a legal filing Tuesday morning in a bid to shut down a conservative group’s request for an order forcing her to submit to a deposition in the midst of her presidential campaign.
Clinton’s legal team said her testimony was unnecessary and superfluous in light of her questioning before the House Benghazi Committee last October and several State Department inquiries into the issue.
“Despite this public testimony and the various investigative reports, Judicial Watch claims that it needs to depose Secretary Clinton, a former Cabinet Secretary, about six purportedly unanswered questions,” the filing states. “The record, however, already answers those questions or makes clear that Secretary Clinton has no personal knowledge to provide.”
Judicial Watch has asked to depose Clinton in a pair of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits which have raised questions about whether her private email system was created in part to avoid making messages accessible under FOIA.
“In any event, the discovery requested by Judicial Watch is futile,” the filing states. “Even if this Court had authority to issue such unprecedented relief, Secretary Clinton has nothing to produce, as the server equipment used to host her @clintonemail.com account is in the possession of the FBI.”
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan has set a hearing for Monday on the request for Clinton’s testimony in one of the suits.
Clinton’s legal team has never previously intervened directly in the lawsuits, which name the State Department as defendant.
However, last year, Clinton did submit a declaration under penalty of perjury saying she’d instructed her attorneys to turn over all federal records in her possession to the State Department. Clinton said it was her belief that had been done.
The State Department is also resisting efforts to call Clinton for depositions in the suits.