There has long been an assumption – all too frequently borne out by facts – that there is one set of rules for the connected elite and a different one for everyday Americans, and a decision just made by the highest court in the land does little to weaken it.
As Forbes reports, on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to involve itself an ongoing effort by conservative watch dog group Judicial Watch to obtain the deposition of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about her decision to use a private email server.
According to Law & Crime, the justices released an unsigned order without additional comment which had the effect of declining the organization’s petition in longstanding litigation over the federal government’s answer to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Judicial Watch had hoped to depose Mrs. Clinton as well as top aide Cheryl Mills concerning electronic communications during their time at the State Department.
In early 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Clinton to sit for a deposition related to her use of a private email server while conducting official State Department business, including as it related to the government’s response to the 2012 attack on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya, as Politico noted at the time.
Subsequently, an federal appeals panel overturned Lamberth’s order in August of last year, as Politico reported separately, calling it a “clear abuse of discretion,” with D.C. Circuit Judge Robert Wilkins writing:
Secretary Clinton … provided eleven hours of public testimony before the House Select Committee, and has answered countless media inquiries on the matter.
These facts underscore both the impropriety of the District Court’s Order and the appropriateness of turning the page on the issue.
Judicial Watch maintained that the Supreme Court had an obligation to hear its argument in the case because the appeals court erred by “giving Clinton unwarranted special treatment that conflicts both with Supreme precedent and the precedents of other courts of appeal, including its own.”
President of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, issued a statement expressing the group’s disappointment with the outcome, stating:
Hillary Clinton ignored the law but received special protection from both the courts and law enforcement. For countless Americans, this double standard of justice has destroyed confidence in the fair administration of justice. Americans would never have known about Hillary Clinton’s email and related pay for play scandals but for Judicial Watch’s diligence.
We expect that the Biden State and Justice Departments will continue to protect her and cover up their own misconduct as we press for additional accountability through the courts.
Clinton lawyer David Kendall offered far less in the way of commentary on the outcome, saying merely that the court’s order “speaks for itself.”
This decision, taken together with the apparent lack of movement in Special Counsel John Durham’s probe into the origins of the Russia collusion investigation leave many wondering if accountability will ever come to government actors and D.C. elites who seemingly do precisely as they please without any fear of legal consequence.