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A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by government watchdog Judicial Watch, which led originally to the disclosure of the fact that Hillary Clinton ran government secrets through a private and unsecure email system while she was secretary of state, is marching toward depositions with a number of key Clinton allies.

Officials with Judicial Watch revealed on Thursday that they have submitted to the court a plan for depositions for “several top former government officials involved in the Clinton email scandal.”

Those would include Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan and FBI official E.W. Priestap, the organization reported.

The organization has been demanding documents that should be available to the public about Clinton’s scheme to keep government emails secret for several years already.

The new plan for depositions and other discovery is the latest development in the July 2014 lawsuit which was filed after the State Department refused to respond to FOIA requests for information about talking points given to Rice by the White House or other agencies about the terror attack on U.S. assets in Benghazi in 2012.

“President Trump, frankly, should demand to know why the State and Justice Department are colluding with Clinton allies and trying to protect Hillary Clinton and themselves from court-ordered questions on the Clinton email scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “But a federal court wants answers – and Judicial Watch discovery plan is a key step to uncovering whether and how Hillary Clinton email misconduct stymied FOIA.”

Judicial Watch said it will update the federal court regarding its requested depositions of Hillary Clinton and Cheryl Mills at the end of a 16-week discovery period.

The discovery plan is a response to a December 6, 2018, ruling by Judge Royce C. Lamberth that said the State Department and Department of Justice must work with Judicial Watch on answers to questions in three areas: Whether Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server was intended to stymie FOIA; whether the State Department’s intent to settle the case in late 2014 and early 2015 amounted to bad faith; and whether the State Department has adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s request.

The judge at that time expressed his opinion that Clinton’s private email strategy was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

She set up the private system and used it while she was secretary of state. When she left office, she reportedly had her own lawyers decide what needed to be turned over to the government. The result was that tens of thousands of official emails were concealed from the public.

Also, there was evidence that she had classified material on the unsecure system, an egregious violation of policy and the law.

“Judicial Watch seeks the depositions of former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and former White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes about the creation and dissemination of the infamous Benghazi talking points because: ‘No one other than these individuals know better who they were communicating with and where records might be located,'” the group said.

It also needs “direct, unfiltered access to [additional] key witnesses with firsthand knowledge and the opportunity to ask follow-up questions,” it said.

Some of those are Jacob Sullivan, who was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff; Clarence Finney, who handled Clinton’s correspondence; Jonathon Wasser, who did some records searches; FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence E.W. Priestap, who supervised the Clinton email investigation; Justin Cooper, to managed clintonemail.com; Eric Boswell, who warned of the dangers of the system; and Heather Samuelson, who worked on FOIA projects.

The Benghazi issue is that although Clinton knew it was a terror attack almost immediately, the Obama administration sent speakers out with talking points for days that said it was a random protest that turned violent.

The Judicial Watch reported also noted: “Incredibly, Justice Department attorneys admit in a filing opposing Judicial Watch’s limited discovery that ‘Counsel for State contacted the counsel of some third parties that Plaintiff originally included in its draft discovery proposal to obtain their client’s position on being deposed.’ This collusion occurred despite criticism from the Court that the DOJ engaged in ‘chicanery’ to cover up misconduct and that career employees in the State and Justice Departments may have ‘colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this Court.'”

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