Washington, May 5: A federal judge has ruled that former Secretary of State and a US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may necessarily have to depose in a case against her that took place during her tenure in the State Department.
The court's ruling came on the allegations that she used her personal email and a private server during her four years' tenure as the Secretary of State, which might have compromised national security.
The former top diplomat has denied these allegations but the latest court ruling could give her opposition important political tool to attack her at a time when she is heading her way to become the first woman presidential candidate of the Democratic party.
"Based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Clinton may be necessary. If Plaintiff believes Clinton's testimony is required, it will request permission from the Court at the appropriate time," Judge Emmet Sullivan of the US District Court for the District of Columbia said in his 15-page ruling on Wednesday.
The order came in response to a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against Clinton's email scandal. One of her key aide and Indian-American Huma Abedin has also been asked for deposition.
Others in the list include her chief of staff Cheryl Mills, under secretary for management Patrick Kennedy, former executive secretary Stephen Mull and Bryan Pagliano, the IT official believed to be responsible for setting up and maintaining the server.
As per the order, the process is scheduled to be wrapped up within eight weeks, with the final deadline being June end. The Democratic convention is scheduled in July where Clinton would formally become presidential nominee of the party.
In his order, Judge Sullivan said that the emails appear to show officials trying to evade demands of freedom of information act (FOIA).
The judge said the process by which the State Department took possession of Clinton and Abedin's federal records from the HYPERLINK "http://clintonemail.com"clintonemail.com server was through self-selection by them and their private counsel.