Judge Blocks Release of Cheryl Mills' Video in Clinton E-Mail Deposition

Cheryl Mills
Former Hillary Rodham Clinton aide Cheryl Mills speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, following her deposition before the panel investigating Benghazi.AP

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By Pete Williams

A federal judge on Thursday granted a request to block the release of video from a forthcoming deposition of Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff at the State Department.

Transcripts will still be released. Mills is scheduled to be deposed Friday by the lawyers for the conservative group Judicial Watch, who are inquiring into Clinton's use of a private e-mail server while Secretary of State.

Related: Clinton Broke Federal Rules With Email Server, Audit Finds

Mills’ attorney argued Wednesday that the former staffer had no objection to transcripts, but was concerned snippets of video could be taken out of context by political groups, and asked video or audio to be withheld.

"The public has a right to know details related to the creation, purpose and use of the clintonemail.com system. Thus, the transcripts of all depositions taken in this case will be publicly available,” U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan wrote in an order.

"It is therefore unnecessary to also make the audiovisual recording of Ms. Mills' deposition public,” Sullivan wrote.

Federal rules authorize a court to protect a people involved in a case "from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression or undue burden or expense," the judge said.

The judge also said his ruling will apply to the rest of the depositions in the case — which would include any deposition of Hillary Clinton — if there is one.

The depositions are being taken by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department.

Judicial Watch said in a court motion opposing the Mills request that it "has no intention of publicizing 'snippets or soundbites' of her videotaped deposition," and planned to release it on its website in the interest of transparency.

Former Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Sept. 3, 2015.Susan Walsh / AP file