Freedom Watch to Ask Court for Leave to Retake Abedin and Other Depositions
(Washington, D.C., October 31, 2016). Today, Larry Klayman, a former federal Justice Department prosecutor, the founder of Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch, which has a companion lawsuit before DC federal judge Emmet Sullivan, issued the following statement about the burgeoning scandal concerning Hillary Clinton’s and Huma Abedin’s emails:
“Months ago, I urged Judge Sullivan to allow me to participate in the questioning of Huma Abedin and others past and present at the State Department (including Hillary Clinton herself) concerning the use of former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the government records that have been secreted from disclosure pursuant to Freedom of Information Act requests by Freedom Watch and Judicial Watch. Judge Sullivan however ruled that since Judicial Watch had filed its ‘related case’ before Freedom Watch, that he would stay Freedom Watch’s case and allow Judicial Watch attorneys to question Abedin. However, the judge made it clear that Freedom Watch could move to take its own discovery after Judicial Watch took the initial depositions.
“Now, it appears that the Judicial Watch attorney who questioned Abedin gave her a pass when it came to hard questioning. Not once in the deposition of June 28, 2016, did Judicial Watch attorney Ramona Cotca question and probe Abedin specifically about the devices that she owned or used to communicate with then Secretary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. To the contrary, all that Abedin offered was that she turned over two laptops and a Blackberry to her attorneys to review for relevant records in response to the subject FOIA requests. There was little to no follow-up questioning. (See pages 205 to end of the Abedin deposition.) This same lack of hard probing questioning is inexplicably apparent throughout the deposition transcript.
“A review of the Abedin deposition at www.judicialwatch.org, which did not even use up and inexplicably fell far short of using all of the allotted time under the district court’s local rules, shows that Hillary Clinton’s top aide and confidante was treated with ‘kid gloves’ and only lightly questioned in general. This is why Freedom Watch had urged Judge Sullivan to allow me to participate and ask questions, as I have much more experience in hard hitting and probing questioning, after nearly 40 years of litigation practice. Judicial Watch is not currently run by a lawyer and perhaps he did not appreciate the need to have more experienced counsel question Abedin.
“It is not too late for Judge Sullivan to correct the huge void in his court record and I will be filing a motion to reopen the deposition testimony of Abedin. Even given FBI Director Comey’s announcement that he had reopened the Hillary Clinton private email server criminal investigation, Abedin cannot take a blanket Fifth Amendment privilege in refusing to testify, as she has already testified and waived any claim of privilege. The American people deserve to know the truth and the full truth about Abedin’s and Hillary Clinton’s roles in secreting records that should have been produced to Freedom Watch, Judicial Watch and the public under FOIA.”
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