Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week just got worse.
After losing the Indiana Primary, which, according to the polls, she was supposed to win by nearly 10 points, the email scandal peeked its ugly face from out of the shadows again—not once, but twice. And now, there's a grass-roots effort—from within her own party—demanding that she drop out of the race.
Wednesday morning, NBC News revealed it had gotten an exclusive interview with Marcel Lehel Lazar, the Romanian hacker who goes by the name "Guccifer." Part of that interview was slated to air Thursday during NBC Nightly News, and the rest on Sunday evening during a new program titled On Assignment.
What Lazar had to say, though, does not bode well for Clinton's long-term freedom to roam, much less her presidential aspirations.
He reportedly told NBC's Cynthia McFadden that Clinton's in-home private email server was "completely unsecured," describing it as an "open orchid on the internet." The interview reportedly took place in Romania, prior to his extradition to the U.S.—on unrelated charges stemming from his earlier hacking and cyberstalking activities—and he offered no documentation to prove his allegations.
The Clinton campaign quickly dismissed Lazar's claims as baseless.
But later in the day, a federal judge hearing a case brought by Judicial Watch over its attempts to get documentation of long-time Clinton aide Huma Abedin's work for the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings while a State Department employee. Clinton's emails became relevant to the case, attorneys for Judicial Watch argued, because they may explain the type of work Abedin was doing.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan agreed, issuing a memorandum and order that allows for "limited discovery" on Judicial Watch's behalf in the case. In his order, Sullivan established the scope of the discovery process in the case to include:
- the creation and operation of Clinton's private server,
- the State Department's approach and practice for processing Freedom of Information Act requests that potentially implicated Clinton and Abedin's emails, and
- the department's processing of Judicial Watch's FOIA request.
But that's not all. Sullivan also ordered that it may be necessary for Clinton herself to sit for a deposition with Judicial Watch attorneys. The order also opens up Abedin, former Clinton staffer Bryan Pagliano—who set up the private server—and several other former State Department officials to potential depositions.
Sullivan's order also impacts another Judicial Watch lawsuit involving Clinton. U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth, in a case over emails related to the Benghazi, Libya, Islamist attacks, was waiting for Sullivan's order on discovery before issuing one of his own in the separate case. Judicial Watch is expected to make its specific discovery request to Lamberth next week in the Benghazi case.
"This is a significant victory for transparency and accountability," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. "Judicial Watch will use this discovery to get all of the facts behind Hillary Clinton's and the Obama State Department's thwarting of FOIA so that the public can be sure that all of the emails from her illicit email system are reviewed and released to the public as the law requires."
Rank-and-file Democrats are getting nervous. And, now, a growing group of grass-roots activists within the party have declared enough is enough. Launching the hashtag #DropOutHillary, the group is demanding Clinton end her presidential bid immediately.
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