A federal judge has ordered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to answer written questions posed by a conservative watchdog group about her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. That means she will not have to sit in a lengthy deposition and answer questions from lawyers during the campaign.
As NPR's Carrie Johnson reports for our Newscast unit,
"U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan says the Democratic presidential nominee needs to explain in writing why she used a personal email server to conduct State Department business.
"The judge also ordered the government to start turning over emails the FBI recovered from Clinton's server in its now closed criminal investigation. That means thousands more messages will be made public in the runup to the November election.
"But Clinton will not be forced to sit for questions under oath from the conservative group Judicial Watch, avoiding a media firestorm."
The judge gave Judicial Watch until Oct. 14 to submit written questions to Clinton and ordered her to respond within 30 days. As the Associated Press reports, that timetable could push Clinton's answers beyond the November election.
In a statement, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton suggested that his group would accelerate the timetable as he expressed satisfaction with Sullivan's order: "We will move quickly to get these answers. The decision is a reminder that Hillary Clinton is not above the law."
Last month the Department of Justice decided not to prosecute Clinton in connection with using the private server.