Judge Says Clinton May Be Deposed in Email Case

PHOTO: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to steelworkers during a campaign event in Ashland, Kentucky, May 2, 2016. PlayJim Young/REUTERS
WATCH A Whole Lot of Paper: Hillary Clinton’s 55,000 Pages of Emails

A federal judge ruled today that Hillary Clinton may have to give a deposition in the case over her use of private email.

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The statement is another turn in the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit between conservative group Judicial Watch and the State Department, in progress at the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued an order today saying that it “may be necessary” for the Plaintiff to seek a deposition from the former Secretary of State, as part of the discovery process. The case ultimately seeks to determine whether or not the State Department complied fully with Judicial Watch’s request for all relevant employment records of Ms. Huma Abedin, one of Clinton’s long time aides.

Judicial Watch wants to know whether Abedin’s employment status with the State Department and other outside groups connected to Clinton broke any rules. The group sued the State Department for relevant documents. During the court proceedings, Clinton’s email -- and the question of whether or not she deliberately sought to hide information normally subject to FOIA -- has been a central topic of discussion.

"Based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary," Judge Sullivan wrote. "If Plaintiff believes Mrs. Clinton’s testimony is required, it will request permission from the Court at the appropriate time.”

Ultimately, today's ruling means that the Judicial Watch lawyers could be allowed to grill Clinton about her email setup, possibly on tape.

The judge also approved plans to get sworn testimony over the next eight weeks from seven on Clinton’s aides and State Department staffers, including Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Patrick Kennedy and Bryan Pagliano.

Judge Sullivan's statement today still leaves the question open; Clinton is not, as of now, definitively ordered to give the deposition.

The State Department said it would not discuss ongoing litigation and Clinton's campaign did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.