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Clinton says she can't recall key details about email server

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a fundraiser at the Civic Center Auditorium in San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
October 13, 2016 - 8:15 PM

WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton said under oath in a court filing Thursday that she can't recall key details about her use of a private email server or she refused to answer questions about it posed by a conservative legal group.

Clinton lawyer David Kendall provided the Democratic presidential nominee's sworn responses to 25 written questions submitted by Judicial Watch. The group has filed multiple lawsuits seeking copies of government documents from Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

Clinton's answers provided no new information beyond what she told FBI agents during the recently closed investigation into whether she and her staff mishandled classified information.

In her responses, Clinton used some variation of "does not recall" at least 21 times.

For example, Clinton was asked when she decided to use her private email account to conduct government business and whom she consulted in making that decision.

Clinton said she recalled making the decision in early 2009, but she "does not recall any specific consultations regarding the decision."

Asked whether she was warned that using a private email account conflicted with federal record-keeping rules, Clinton responded that "she does not recall being advised, cautioned, or warned, she does not recall that it was ever suggested to her, and she does not recall participating in any communication, conversation, or meeting in which it was discussed."

Judicial Watch had sought to depose Clinton in person about the creation of the private server located in the basement of her New York home. In August U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan instead ordered the Democratic presidential nominee to respond to the group's questions in writing.

In addition to her inability to recall the requested information, Clinton entered various legal objections to the formation or wording of 18 of the 25 questions. She also filed eight separate general objections to the process under which the questions were being asked.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the group's lawyers will closely review Clinton's responses.

"Mrs. Clinton's refusal to answer many of the questions in a clear and straightforward manner further reflects disdain for the rule of law," Fitton said.

Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman protested the process in a statement Thursday night. He said Sullivan's denial of Freedom Watch's requests for an oral deposition "cleverly allowed Hillary Clinton ... to stonewall giving responsive and meaningful answers."

Klayman continued, "Now, even if motions to compel complete and responsive answers are filed, they will not be decided for some time, and Judge Sullivan will have run out the clock — paving the way for Hillary Clinton ... to easily win the presidency."

Campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said Clinton has answered these same questions in multiple settings for over a year, and her answers Thursday "are entirely consistent with what she has said many times before."

"Judicial Watch is a right-wing organization that has been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s, and this frivolous lawsuit is just its latest failed attempt to hurt her campaign for the presidency," Fallon said.


Follow Associated Press reporter Michael Biesecker at

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